96TH JAPAN STUDENT SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, October 1st – Sunday, October 4th
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center
- LCM (50m)
- Entries (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap/Day 3 Recap
The 96th Japan Student Swimming Championships concluded tonight from Tokyo with another breakout performance in the men’s 200m breaststroke by Shoma Sato.
Representing Keio University, 19-year-old Sato ripped a monster 200m breast time of 2:07.02 to not only easily reap gold here, but to check-in among the world’s best-ever in the event.
Entering this meet, Sato’s lifetime best rested at the 2:07.58 the teen put up this past January at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup. Splitting 1:01.41/1:06.17, Sato’s January time laid waste to his previous career-quickest of 2:09.21 from this same Student Swimming Championships in 2019.
Flash forward to tonight and Sato split 1:01.14/1:05.88 to register his 2:07.02 eye-popping swim. That means this kid has dropped over 2 seconds in this event in just 12 months.
Sato’s time here now rockets the teen up into spot #5 on the all-time performers’ list at just 19 years of age with a home Olympic Games on the horizon.
All-Time Top Men’s 200m Breaststroke Performers
For perspective, while competing at the Russia Cup this same weekend, Kirill Prigoda posted a time of 2:07.85.
Before the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic, we reported how Sato had devised a specific strategy for tackling the ultra-competitive 200m breast at his nation’s Olympic Trials meet of the Japan Swim.
Sato said his plan is to ‘train myself to swim in the 1:04 range in the back half of the race without rushing the front half.’ With his 1:04 back-half goal in mind, to hit a 2:06, as Sato said, he would need to go out fast enough to pace the field, but not zealously so where he would lose steam on the final stretch.
His swim tonight entered him into the sub-1:06 realm on the back-half, so he’s heading in the right direction from his previous PB outing.