Japan Announces World Championship Roster; Kitajima Relays-Only

Japan has announced a roster of 31 swimmers for the 2013 World Championships that begin in July in Barcelona, Spain, and there were surprises all over the place.

The biggest is that Kosuke Kitajima, who is many-times a World and Olympic Champion, will swim only the medley relay. He won the 100 breaststroke at Japan’s Trials, but in only 1:00.78 he wasn’t fast enough to convince the Japanese selectors of an individual swim.

Another surprise is that Kanako Watanabe, who once was one of the world’s most promising breaststroke prospects, will swim only the 200 IM at Worlds (she won that race at Japan’s trials in a stellar 2:12.61).

A surprise of a swimmer who is entered in an event is Takeshi Matsuda. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 fly was only 3rd in that race at Japan’s National Championships, and just 7th in the 100 fly. None-the-less, he was listed under “butterfly” (with no specific events given) on Japan’s official selection sheet.

With that considered, though, the 200 fly champion Yuuki Kobori is entered as a butterflier as well, but 200 fly runner-up Daiya Seto (1:55.59) is not, focusing on IM races instead, and 100 fly champion Takuro Fujii is a “relay only” swimmer, despite swimming a 52.23 just last weekend. Japan needs him much more as a relay swimmer than they do as a 100 fly semi-finalist, but it would still be peculiar to hear if Seto and Fujii chose not to swim those events, or if the federation pushed them out in favor of Matsuda.

Finally, the hottest new Asian swimmer is listed by Japan to be swimming freestyle, backstroke, and IM races. At Japan’s Nationals, he won the 100 back, the 200 free, the 400 free, the 200 IM, the 400 IM, and was runner-up in the 200 backstroke. Again, there were no specifics on distances of each stroke, but Japan listed him as a freestyler, backstroker, and IM’er for the meet. If we presume he’s definitely going to swim the 800 free relay, and could very well be in the 400 medley as well, he’s looking at a possibility of 7 or 8 events.

Men (Individuals)
Shinri Shioura (free)
Kenta Itoh (free)
Kosuke Hagino (free, back, IM)
Ayatsugu Hirai (free)
Yosuke Miyamoto (free)
Ryosuke Irie (back),
Ryo Tateishi (breaststroke)
Akihiro Yamaguchi (breaststroke)
Takeshi Matsuda (butterfly)
Yuki Kobori (butterfly)
Daiya Seto (styles)

Men (relay only)
Takuro Fujii
Kenji Kobase
Sho Sotodate
Kosuke Kitajima

Women (individual events)
Aya Terakawa (back)
Sayaka Akase (back)
Satomi Suzuki (breaststroke)
Rie Kaneto ( breaststroke)
Natsumi Hoshi (butterfly)
Kanako Watanabe (IM)
Miho Teramura (IM)
Miyu Otsuka (IM)
Miho Takahashi (IM)
Women (relay only)
Haruka Ueda
Miki Uchida
Misaki Yamaguchi
Yayoi Matsumoto
Chihiro Igarashi
Aya Takano
Yasuko Miyamoto

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Just heard a rumor that Akihiro Yamaguchi broke the 50m breast WR in 26.16! True or false?!


So who’s swimming the individual 100 breast? Tateishi and Yamaguchi?
This is extremely peculiar.

Kitajima won the trials in 1:00.78, UNDER the A qualifying time of 1:00.86

What gives?


This document from USA Swimming has Yamaguchi at a 26.16 back in September 2012 at the same time and place as his 200 WR.



I have my doubts about whether that kind of time is possible from a 200 specialist with a PR of 59.5 in the 100.

Philip Johnson

As far as I know, van der Burgh still holds the WR with a 26.67. FINA’s website confirms this, so that must be an error. However, there’s a discrepancy. If you check the top 50 breast times in 2012 on FINA’s website (http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=805), they list Yamaguchi swimming a 26.16 on the same date as his 200 breast WR. Does anyone know the splits of that race? Would it even count?

bobo gigi

His 50 breast record is 27.69.
His split after 50 meters in his 200 breast world record is 29.16!
Here are his splits for the 200 breast world record.

Here’s the video of the race.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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