15th TOKYO SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, June 2nd – Sunday, June 4th
- Tokyo Aquatics Center
- LCM (50m)
The 15th Tokyo Swimming Championships wrapped up tonight with the non-selection meet representing another tune-up racing opportunity ahead of next month’s World Championships.
Competing in the men’s 200m breaststroke tonight, 26-year-old Watanabe ripped a season-best outing of 2:07.55. That not only garnered the gold but it beat the field by well over 3 seconds.
Watanabe opened in 1:01.09 and closed in 1:06.46 to get the job done. His stellar result here outperformed the 2:07.73 it took him to win the national title at April’s Japan Swim. That previous result booked his spot on the Japanese lineup for Fukuoka.
His 2:07.55 now sits among the top 10 personal performances of the World Championships medalist’s career.
Top 10 LCM 200 Breast Performances for Ippei Watanabe
- 2:06.67, 2017
- 2:06.73, 2019
- 2:07.02, 2019
- 2:07.08, 2020
- 2:07.22, 2016
- 2:07.44, 2017
- 2:07.47, 2017
- 2:07.54, 2021
- 2:07.55, 2023
- 2:07.56, 2018
Watanabe now frog hops reigning World Record holder and Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook of Australia to rank as the 2nd fastest performer in the world this season. Only Russia’s Kirill Prigoda‘s time of 2:07.47 has been swifter.
For perspective, Watanabe’s 2:07.55 outing would have placed 5th at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and would have snagged silver last year at the World Championships in Budapest.