Ippei Watanabe Breaks 200 Breast Olympic Record With 2:07.22


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Swimming: August 6-13
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
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Japan’s Ippei Watanabe became the latest 200 breaststroker to rattle the world record, going 2:07.22 in the Rio Olympic semifinals to break the Olympic record and move to #3 all-time.

The 19-year-old Watanabe won the first of two semifinals in Rio, knocking off his higher-seeded teammate Yasuhiro Koseki and nabbing the top seed into tomorrow’s medal final.

The previous Olympic record was a 2:07.28 from Daniel Gyurta back in 2012.

Watanabe’s 2:07.22 makes him the next in a long line of swimmers to challenge, but not break, the world record of 2:07.01 held by another Japanese breaststroker, Akihiro Yamaguchi.

Here’s a look at the top swimmers in history:

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – All-time

  1. Akihiro Yamaguchi, JPN (2012) – 2:07.01
  2. Josh Prenot, USA (2016) – 2:07.17
  3. Ippei Watanabe, JPN (2016) – 2:07.22
  4. Daniel Gyurta, HUN (2013) – 2:07.23
  5. Ross Murdoch, GBR (2014) – 2:07.30
  6. Christian Sprenger, AUS (2009) – 2:07.31
  7. Eric Shanteau, USA (2009) – 2:07.42
  8. Michael Jamieson, GBR (2012) – 2:07.43
  9. Marco Koch, GER (2014) – 2:07.47
  10. Kosuke Kitajima, JPN (2008) – 2:07.51

This 200 breast features one of the most tightly-packed top 10 lists in all of swimming, and tomorrow’s medal final should be no different. Watanabe will lead a field that includes Prenot and Koch from that top 10 list, plus Koseki, new Russian record-holder Anton Chupkov among others.

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Rapid for a 19 year old


I could see a few 2:06s tomorroe

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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