Irie Becomes World Leader in 100 Back; Olympic Medalist Suzuki Misses Final in 100 Breast


  • Long Course Meters
  • April 7-12th, 2015 (Tuesday-Sunday)
  • Tatsumi International Pool, Tokyo
  • Live results (in English)
  • Full World Championships schedule, including semi-finals for 100m and 200m races.

The ever-consistent Ryosuke Irie has popped once again to the top of the world rankings on day 2 of the 2015 Japanese National Championships at Tokyo’s Tatsumi International Pool, swimming a 52.99 to leap-frog the 53.10 done by Australian Champion Mitch Larkin earlier this week.

2014-2015 LCM Men 100 Back

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With Irie’s penchant for swimming fast all-year round, he’s spent much of this decade at the top of the world rankings in the 100 and 200 meter backstrokes. Although this time is about half-a-second slower than he was to win the title last season, it’s still faster than he was the year prior where he fell at this meet to Kosuke Hagino (who chose to focus on the 200 free prelims and semi-finals on Wednesday instead).

In the men’s 100 meter breaststroke final, Yasuhiro Koseki was the lone swimmer to break a minute, swimming a 59.73; he was followed by Ryo Tateishi (1:00.04) and Kosuke Kitajima (1:00.18). The Japanese men’s breaststroking group is still deep, but has fallen into a bit of a lull on the top-end. This year’s race with World Championship spots on the line, however, was still much better than the 2014 ‘off year,’ which was overall about a full second slower.

In the women’s 100 fly, Wednesday’s only women’s final, Natsumi Hoshi was able to repeat as the champion in 58.62, fighting back on a courageous front-half from the young Rino Hosoda (59.06).

In fact, at the turn, Hoshi was in just 3rd place, also behind eventual bronze medalist Tomoyo Fukuda (59.52).

In the timed final of the men’s 800 free, Yousuke Miyamoto swam 7:53.05 to win, which is a time that is unlikely to even final at the World Championships.

And lastly, in the men’s 50 fly, Takeshi Kawamoto, a newcomer to the national level, won the men’s 50 fly in 23.60 – once again, a much better time than what won last year. In 2014, this race was won in 24.0, this year, three swimmers went under that barrier.


  • Kosuke Hagino, after what he described as a disappointing 400 free on Tuesday, was a 1:46.73 to be the top qualifier for the men’s 200 free final. He was followed by Tsubasa Amai (1:47.59) and Yuuki Kobori (1:47.93). If Hagino was attacking that semi-final, he won’t likely be much happier with that result than he was with the 400 free on Tuesday.
  • Rikako Ikee, a 14-year old, leads the way into the women’s 200 free semi-final with a 1:59.01. That marks a new Japanese National Record. The oldest swimmer in the top four of the semis (all 1:59.4 and younger) is just 20-years old.
  • Akase Sayaka took the top spot in the women’s 100 back semi-finals with a 1:00.90, beating out veteran Noriko Inada (1:01.25). 13-year old Natsumi Sakai, who broke the Junior National Record in the 50 back on Tuesday, just missed out on the final of this race after swimming a 1:01.89 for 9th – still a spectacular time for her age.
  • Kanako Watanabe swam 1:06.64 to lead the women’s 100 breast semi-finals as the winner out of heat 2, followed by heat 1 winner Mina Matsushima in 1:07.65. In the most shocking result of the meet so far, Satomi Suzuki (1:09.07) will miss out on the final altogether. She was the Olympic bronze medalist in the event in 2012.

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6 years ago

I am interested to see what Rikako Ikee can do in the 100 – Other than Ueda circa 2012, they have always struggled with sprint free. I love this girls freestyle stroke – I don’t think I have seen a Japanese swimmer with levers as long as Rikako.. beautiful and naturally rangey swimmer – I hope that isn’t trained out of her.

At NSW state titles she was 25.6, 55.6 & 2.02.5 in Freestyle as well as 26.7 & 59.8 in butterfly. After her disappointment in the 100 fly at trials (1.01 heat swim) the word “flop” was thrown around a bit in Japanese media… she has well and truly shut them up today.

1.57 is possible this… Read more »

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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