Japan Swim Day 4: Hagino & Seto W/ 1:56 IMs, Horomura 1:53.7 2Fly


It was another thrilling day of domestic talent at the 2018 Japan Swim, with mega stars Rikako Ikee, Kosuke Hagino, Daiya Seto and others all in the pool vying for spots on their nation’s Pan Pacific Championships squad.

As reported, Ikee paved the way early, racing her way to yet another national record-setting effort. Tonight, Ikee threw down an eye-popping 24.21 50m freestyle to lower her own national mark and become the 3rd fastest swimmer in the world this season, not taking into account tonight’s Commonwealth Games semi-final. Her time comfortably clears the 24.74 Pan Pacific C’ships qualifying time set by the Japanese swimming federation. You can watch Ikee’s record-setting performance here.

The men’s edition of the splash n’ dash was also a stunner, as reigning national record holder Katsumi Nakamura took on the tightly packed field that included former standard setter Shinri Shioura. Nakamura pulled out the win, albeit in a 22-point time, touching in 22.12 for the win. Of note, Nakamura’s reaction time checked in at .76, the slowest of the entire field. With a better reaction time, it’s possible he could have been more within striking distance of his 21.87 NR set earlier this year.

Shioura had to settle for bronze in 22.20, with Syunichi Nakao splitting the rivals with a silver medal-garnering time of 22.15, a new personal best. All 3 men fall short of the 21.84 Pan Pacs QT, however.

Both men and women contested the 200m IM event tonight as well, one of the marquis events of these championships. For the women, national record holder and 2017 World Championships silver medalist Yui Ohashi led wire-to-wire to take the sprint IM title in a solid 2:08.92. Checking in with tollgates of 27.79/1:00.86/1:38.47 for the only sub-2:10 effort of the field, Ohashi produced the 2nd fastest time of her career.

Ohashi not only qualified for the Pan Pacific roster with her time tonight, but she now rockets herself to the top of the world rankings with a time that falls within the top 25 performances in history.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 200 IM

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After registering a semi-final swim of 1:57.70, the crowd was ready for their Olympian Kosuke Hagino to produce something special this evening the men’s 200m IM. Hagino already snatched a silver in the 400m freestyle in a modest performance before dropping the 200m free event to focus solely on the IM events.

The strategy appeared to pay off as the 23-year-old cranked out a monster time of 1:56.37 to take the gold. It was a hard-fought battle against domestic rival and fellow Olympic teammate Daiya Seto, who also scored a mark under the 1:57 threshold. Seto was right behind Hagino the entire way, finishing less than half a second back in 1:56.85.

For perspective, Hagino’s time tonight outperformed his own time of 1:56.61 registered in Rio for the silver medal behind America’s Olympic legend Michael Phelps. Seto’s mark tonight would have rendered the soon-to-be new dad 4th at the 2016 Olympics. For a more recent point of view, Hagino’s time this evening was just .35 off his silver-medal garnering effort of 1:56.01 from Budapest, while Seto’s mark outdid his 1:56.97 from that same meet.

The men both clear the 1:58.80 Pan Pacific selection standard and now take over the top 2 spots among the world leaders this season, with 4 out of the top 5 performers this year hailing from Asia.

2017-2018 LCM MEN 200 IM

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23-year-old Seto wasn’t done, however, as the Olympic medalist also took on the grueling 200m butterfly in tonight’s session. Entering the 200 fly final as the 2nd seeded swimmer with a semi time of 1:55.77, Seto was able to drop .2 from that time to score 1:55.37 for silver in his tough double. That mark clears the 1:55.73 QT set by the Japanese swimming federation for the Pan Pacific Championships.

The winner of the men’s 200m fly, however, was Nao Horomura, the one-time World Junior Record holder in this event. Horomura churned out a mighty 1:53.79 to nab the fastest time of his career. His time tonight comes within a second of the 1:52.97 Japanese record and shaves .11 off of the 1:53.90 Horomura produced in Taipei last year for gold at the World University Games.

Horomura’s effort tonight now checks the 18-year-old in as the 10th fastest performer of all-time. He sits only behind Hungary’s ace and current World Junior record holder Kristof Milak in the season rankings worldwide.

2017-2018 LCM MEN 200 FLY

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Chihiro Igarashi was tonight’s women’s 400m freestyle winner, touching in 4:08.89 for the only time of the field under the 4:10 barrier.

Semi-Final Action:

  • Suzuka Hasegawa is the women’s 200m fly leader, clocking a semi top seed of 2:08.94.
  • The men’s 200m backstroke saw Ryosuke Irie take charge in his pursuit to double up on his 100m back victory from earlier. He leads the field in 1:58.04 headed into tomorrow night’s final.
  • 200m breaststroke world record holder Ippei Watanabe is still leading the men in that event moving into tomorrow’s semi, having clocked 2:09.84 with Yuihiro Takahashi just .01 behind in 2:09.85.

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Ohashi is certainly one to look out for in 2020 since it will be her home olympics.

bobo gigi

Yes. Clearly a big favorite for IM medals.
The biggest question for me is Ella Eastin. She admits she’s much more comfortable with short course but she has 2 years ahead of her to change that.


Horomura seems to agree as well


These men are incredible athletes – Tokyo 2020 is the meet of the Century!

bobo gigi

Without the greatest it can’t be the meet of the century.


Yes, but Phelps will be doing the color commentary for NBC 🙂


And we’ll have dressel


Yes. Hagino,Seto,Lochte and Kaliz. All gold medal favourites. Also is possible Phelps coming out of retirment. Phelps is only 32. Lochte compete Tyr meet Atlanta in May.

bobo gigi

I haven’t seen any article about day 2 of the Irish Open so I’m posting that here. I can’t blame swimswam. There are so many meets this week. They can’t be everywhere.
13-year-old Claire Tuggle won the 800 free in 8.37.27. A new PB by 6.30 s.
That’s the first race in the video.

bobo gigi

And American-born Shane Ryan has become the first Irish swimmer to break the 49-second barrier in the 100 free.
He swam 48.68 in the 100 free prelims.

Distance Swimmer

You have a weird obsession with Tuggle

If you’re going to say things like that, you should support them with facts.

There are many commenters on SwimSwam who have had way more to say about Tuggle, and a very small percentage of bobo’s posts are about Tuggle. Also, she’s quite fast.

bobo gigi

Distance swimmer, your comment is really weird. Senseless. But it’s the internet. Sometimes weird people post weird and senseless comments. I post a comment about Claire Tuggle every time I want to do it. Sorry for that. And every time I will find race videos of the future swimming stars then I will post them. Whether you like it or not. So I must also be “obsessed” with MP, Missy, Lasco, Foster, Comerford, Eastin, KL, Dressel, Manuel, Murphy, Andrew, Manaudou, Agnel, Metella, Stravius, Lacourt, Cordes, Kalisz, Beisel, Coughlin, Lochte, Adrian, Schmitt, Conger, Whitley, Smoliga and many others! 😆 Because I’ve posted so many comments about them for years! 😆 Pathetic comment from your part. Probably another Trump supporter full of… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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