Kosuke Hagino and a group of breaststrokers combined to put on quite a show over the weekend at Tokyo’s Tatsumi International Pool at the Tokyo Metropolitan Championships.
Hagino put up world-leading times in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes in long course meters, with times of 53.35 and 1:54.77, respectively. Those swims are both faster than he was when he finaled at last summer’s World Championships.
Hagino has been sharp all winter long, after breaking the Asian Record in the 400 SCM IM earlier this month.
While he certainly had the best swims of the meet, he wasn’t the only standout performer, or even new world-leader. In fact, the top three swims in the world so far in 2014 all came out of this meet. The World Record holder Akihiro Yamaguchi was a 2:11.47 to win the men’s race, followed by Yuta Oshikiri and Yukihiro Takahashi. The top 5 swimmers in that race were all under 2:13’s.
Previously, only two Brits, Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson, had cleared 2:13 globally this year.
The women’s race displayed a similar level of depth in the 200 breaststroke, as Motegi Yoshisakura was a 2:25.04 in the 200 breaststroke, leading three women who were under 2:27 in that distance.
Also impressive was Miki Uchida in the women’s 100 free.
Several of the above swimmers are now on their way to Perth, Australia for the 2014 BHP Aquatic Super Series meet.
A listing of the top results from the meet, in Japanese, can be found here.