Hagino Targeting 5 Events, Ikee Entered In 4 At JPN Olympic Trials


  • Saturday, April 3rd – Saturday, April 10th
  • Tokyo Olympic Aquatics Centre
  • LCM (50m)
  • Japan’s Sole Olympic-Qualifying Opportunity
  • JASF Olympic Selection Policy

Although we’re awaiting the official start lists for the 2021 Japan Swim, several key swimmers’ event lineups are starting to trickle out.

This 8-day meet set for April 3rd – April 10th represents the sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity for Japanese swimmers, with the athletes facing tough qualification standards sans spectators in the stands cheering them on. You can refresh yourself on the selection policy for Japan here, but we’ve also included the time tables at the bottom of this post.

As a reminder, Daiya Seto has already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in both the 200m IM and 400m IM by nature of his gold medals in Gwangju at the World Championships. 

In terms of known entries, the 2016 Olympic champion in the men’s 400m IM Kosuke Hagino has opted for a stacked schedule for this prestigious event. The 26-year-old father of one is, for now, expected to race the 200m IM, 400m IM, 200m free, 100m back and 200m back, although he hinted this schedule may change closer to the actual meet.

“I made a wide range of entries,” Hagino gold Asian media. “What kind of event I will participate in depends on my future training. No matter what kind of event I participate in, I want to earn the right to race at the Olympics.”

Hagino turned heads just this past week when he put up his fastest 200m backstroke time in over 6 years. While competing at the Tokyo Senior Spring Meet, the veteran posting a huge 1:55.84 to take silver at the meet but check-in as the 3rd fastest performer in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 Back

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With the Japan Swim event schedule, Hagino’s day-by-day dive-ins would look like the following, assuming he holds his 5 events.

Saturday, April 3rd – 400m IM prelim/final
Sunday, April 4th – 200m free prelim/semifinal; 100m back prelim/semifinal
Monday, April 5th – 200m free final; 100m back final
Tuesday, April 6th – OFF
Wednesday, April 7th – 200m back prelim/semifinal; 200m IM prelim/semifinal
Thursday, April 8th – 200m back final; 200m IM final
Friday, April 9th – OFF
Saturday, April 10th – OFF

On the women’s side, Rikako Ikee will be contesting an impressive four events, including the 50m and 100m freestyle, as well as the 50m and 100m butterfly. The 20-year-old leukemia survivor spent nearly the entire year of 2019 in the hospital undergoing intense treatments and has only been back to racing since late 2020.

However, she has already earned qualification times to compete at this exclusive meet, where, at most, 40 swimmers per event were invited to race. She says her goal is to qualify for the finals in each of the aforementioned 4 events.

Although Ikee continues to downplay any aspirations of making the Olympic Games’ squad, the mere fact she is set to compete at this meet is inspirational to any fan of the human spirit.

Here is what Ikee’s day-by-day schedule could look like should she keep her 4 events at the Japan Swim.

Saturday, April 3rd – 100m fly prelim/semifinal
Sunday, April 4th – 100m fly final
Monday, April 5th – OFF
Tuesday, April 6th – OFF
Wednesday, April 7th – 100m free prelim/semifinal
Thursday, April 8th – 100m free final
Friday, April 9th – 50m free prelim/semifinal
Saturday, April 10th – 50m fly prelim/final; 50m free final

Japan Olympic-Qualifying Times

The top 2 swimmers achieving, at minimum, the ‘dispatch II’ standard seen below (3rd column are men’s times; 6th column are women’s times) will be considered for selection.


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1 year ago

Seto and hagino the japanese phelps and lochte

1 year ago

It makes zero sense why she would enter the 50 fly with finals being on the same day as the 50 free final. I’d imagine she swims prelims for fun and scratches semis/finals in favor of the 50 free, which right now seems to be her closest shot in an individual event.

1 year ago

I’m excited for Shoma Sato vs. Koseki

1 year ago

The standard record for Japan’s Olympic selection is strange.
There are athletes in Japan who have the potential to win medals at the Olympics. It’s very painful if it doesn’t even seize the opportunity with its crazy standard record.

Last edited 1 year ago by apapannn
1 year ago

Because its fun!!

Reply to  gator
1 year ago

Lots of things are fun, but…….

Honest Observer
1 year ago

Why would they have a 50 meter fly at their Olympic Trials?

Reply to  Honest Observer
1 year ago


About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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