2018 JAPAN SWIM (JAPANESE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)
- Tuesday, April 3rd – Sunday, April 8th
- Tatsumi International Swim Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- Selection meet for Asian Games, Pan Pacific Championships, Jr. Pan Pacific Championships & Youth Olympics
- Meet Site
- SwimSwam Preview
- Start Lists
- Live Results
- Day 1 Prelims/Day 1 Finals
- Day 2 Prelims/Day 2 Finals
- Day 3 Prelims/ Day 3 Finals
- Day 4 Prelims
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.