Hagino Puts Up Fastest 400 IM In 2 Years At JPN SC C’ships


Many of Japan’s best were in the water today in Tokyo, contesting day 1 of the 2020 Japan Short Course Championships. For the likes of Yui Ohashi, Rio Shirai, Kosuke Hagino and more, this meet is a warm-up of sorts for next week’s International Swimming League match for one of the newest squads of the Tokyo Frog Kings.

Ohashi got it done tonight in her bread-and-butter 400m IM event taking gold in a time of 4:24.87. That outing sits less than 2 seconds off of the 24-year-old’s national record of 4:22.73, a time she hit on the 2018 FINA World Cup circuit. Ohashi took bronze in the long course version of this event at last year’s World Championships in Gwangju.

The men’s 4IM race tonight saw the reigning Olympic champion Hagino produce a super solid time of 4:02.75 to get to the wall first. Hagino’s short course meters personal best rests at the 4:01.17 from 2014. Since then, he logged a time of 4:01.93 in the 2018 FINA World Cup.

As such, tonight’s performance checks-in among Hagino’s best in recent years, and his fastest since battling mental and physical health issues which resulted in the multi-international medalist from taking a 5-month hiatus last year, missing the World Championships.

Shirai topped the women’s 200m free field tonight in a new lifetime best of 1:53.52. She sliced .07 off the 1:53.59 she logged last year to retain her short course national title, as well as remain as Japan’s 2nd fastest female ever in the event. Only Rikako Ikee has been faster with her national record mark of 1:52.64.

The men’s 50m free saw 26-year-old Kosuke Matsui fall just .04 shy of his own national record tonight. The man posted a time of 20.99 to take gold in the only sub-21 second time of the field, near the 20.95 he produced for the national title last year.

In an Irie-less 200m back final, Yuma Edo took the title in a time of 1:51.76, just .02 ahead of runner-up Kaneko Masaki. Edo is Japan’s 6th fastest performer all-time in the SCM version of this 2back, owning a lifetime best of 1:51.46 from last year.

As for Masaki, the man had never been under 1:52 until tonight, with his previous PB resting at the 1:52.22 from this same meet in 2019.

Capturing the women’s 100m breast national title was 25-year-old Reona Aoki, who stopped the clock in 1:04.47. Splitting 30.10/34.37, Aoki nearly put up the fastest time of her career, falling just .32 outside her PB of 1:04.12 from this same meet last year. That rendered her as Japan’s 3rd fastest performer all-time.

The men’s 100m breast was a tightly-contested battle resulting in the top 6 finishers all getting under the 58-second barrier.

Pan Pacifics champion Yasuhiro Koseki was the ultimate winner, however, with the Miki House athlete punching a time of 57.40. Splitting 27.00/30.40, Koseki’s effort held off Yuki Matsumura, who hit the wall in 57.79, while on-fire Shoma Sato logged a new lifetime best of 57.86 to round out the top 3.

Koseki owns the Japanese national record with the 56.11 he logged en route to topping the podium last year at this same meet. As far as Matsumura, his previous PB rested at 57.85, so he shaved .06 off of that.

As for 19-year-old Sato, his career-quickest in this even sat at the 58.76 from last year. As is his usual behavior as of late, the World Junior Championships medalist hacked that previous time to bits to collect bronze in 57.86, becoming Japan’s 13th fastest performer in the process.

Additional Winners:

  • Runa Imai topped the women’s 100m IM field in 58.19, while Juran Mizohata got it done for gold in the men’s race in 52.19.
  • The women’s 50m back saw Natsumi Sakai top the final in a mark of 26.51, while Junya Koga got the edge over fellow veteran Ryosuke Irie. For Koga, it’s the man’s first national title since returning from suspension. You can read more about Koga’s comeback here.
  • Tsuda Moesaki of Niigata Medical proved quickest in the women’s 50m fly, posting a new student record of 25.58. The men’s race saw Takeshi Kawamoto do enough damage with his time of 22.19 to blast a new national record, as well as an Asian record en route to climbing atop the podium tonight. You can read more about Kawamoto’s swim here.
  • The women’s 50m free saw Yume Kamino reap the top prize in 24.73.
  • Karin Uchida of Kanagawa University produced a solid 2:05.49 to beat the women’s 200m fly field by well over 2 seconds. Her outing here keeps her in as the 10th fastest performer all-time for Japan but hacks .32 off of her previous PB of 2:05.81.
  • The men’s 200m fly title was captured by Yuya Sakamoto in a winning time of 1:50.51. That held off Tomoru Honda, the World Junior Championships silver medalist in this event, who touched in 1:52.75, still a solid PB. You can read more about Honda joining the ISL team Tokyo Frog Kings here.
  • World Junior champion Miyu Namba delivered victory in the 800m free in a time of 8:18.42, while Hirai Takuya hit a time of 14:38.32 to take gold in the men’s 1500m free, becoming the 4th fastest performer in Japanese history in the process.

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11 months ago

This broadcast is freaking awesome. No annoying commentators, no crazy angles, no graphics, just the replay of the meet with normal editing and exciting swimming that appears timed to the flow of the *epic* background music (song breakdown at most starts). IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR ISL/CBS?!

11 months ago

I miss seto<3

Last edited 11 months ago by concepcion
11 months ago

The Frog Kings are about to surprise a lot of teams in the ISL, with or without Seto.

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Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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