Honda, Irie & Sato Get 2021 Kosuke Kitajima Cup Off To Golden Start

2021 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP

The 2021 Kosuke Kitajima Cup kicks off a packed season of domestic racing within Japan, as the top talent to the tune of Kosuke Hagino, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, Suzuka Hasegawa, Ryosuke Irie, Shoma Sato gear up for a home-based Olympic Games.

Rikako Ikee is also making her 2021 calendar year debut at this Kosuke Kitajima Cup in Tokyo after bypassing her originally-planned first competition of the New Year’s Meet due to coronavirus concerns. She’ll be in the water tomorrow.

On day 1 of this 3-day affair, we reported how Matsumoto wasted no time making his presence known in the men’s 200m freestyle. Winning the event in a big-time 1:45.13, the 21-year-old World Championships silver medalist knocked down his own national record en route to taking over the top ranking in the world this season. You can read more about Matsumoto’s impressive outing here.

The men’s 200m fly was another scorcher tonight, with Tomoru Honda beating out Nao Horomura and Yuki Kobori in what boiled down to a 3-man race. Of note, Daiya Seto is not competing at this meet.

Although Kobori fired off a spicy opening split of 54.85 to lead the pack, it was Honda who took it home for the win, touching in 1:55.80. Horomura settled for silver less than half a second later in 1:56.10 while Kobori rounded out the top 3 in 1:56.87.

As for 18-year-old Honda, his time tonight was just outside his lifetime best of 1:55.31, a time he produced at the 2019 World Junior Championships to take silver behind winner Luca Urlando of the United States. His result here also nearly matches the 1:55.76 he posted just last October at the Japan Student Championships, a mark which renders him as the 4th fastest performer in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 Fly

KristofHUN
Milak
05/19
1:51.10
2Tomoru
Honda
JPN1:53.7307/28
3Federico
Burdisso
ITA1:54.2805/19
4Tamas
Kenderesi
HUN1:54.3705/18
5Eddie
Wang
TPE1:54.4407/26
6Antani
Ivanov
BUL1:54.5005/19
7Trenton
Julian
USA1:54.7108/03
8Leonardo
de Deus
BRA1:54.8307/26
9Zach
Harting
USA1:54.9207/26
10Chad
le Clos
RSA1:54.9307/28
View Top 26»

We also saw Reona Aoki get it done for gold in the women’s 100m breast, logging a time of 1:06.94 as the only sub-1:07 swimmer. Aoki’s season-best entering this meet was situated at the 1:06.95 she put up at the Japan Swim in December, so she sliced .01 off of that performance to remain within the top 10 performers worldwide this season.

In the men’s edition of the 100m breast, it was rising star Shoma Sato who stormed to the wall first, hitting the only sub-minute effort of the field. Sato snagged the top prize in 59.84, a mark less than half a second away from his season-best of 59.55 from last October.

Additional winners this evening included Hiroko Makino getting the edge over Suzuka Hasegawa in the women’s 200m fly, with the former touching in 2:09.02 to the latter’s 2:09.12.

Hasegawa ripped a first 100m split of 1:00.91 before backing down to settle for silver. Hasegawa has been as fast as 2:07.82 already this season.

Chihiro Igarashi proved too quick in the women’s 200m free, taking the meet title in a mark of 1:57.75 over the next-closest competitor of Natsumi Sakai who finished in 1:58.84.

Rio Shirai topped the women’s 100m back field by over 2 seconds with her gold medal-worthy time of 1:00.46, while mainstay Ryosuke Irie got it done for the men in 53.31.

Splitting 25.83/27.48, 30-year-old Irie was within striking distance of his season-best 53.04 from last month. That result renders the Olympic icon as the 4th fastest performer in the world so far this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Back

EvgenyRUS
Rylov
07/27
51.98
2Kliment
Kolesnikov
RUS52.0007/27
3Ryan
Murphy
USA52.1907/27
4Thomas
Ceccon
ITA52.3007/27
5Xu
Jiayu
CHN52.3503/07
View Top 27»

In This Story

1
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

1 Comment
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
IM FAN
1 year ago

“Spicy opening split”

Never change swimswam, never change

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.

Read More »