The Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) has revealed its 17-strong lineup for the 2022 FINA World Championships and there are a few curveballs revealed with the roster.
Although mainstays to the tune of backstroking extraordinaire Ryosuke Irie and IM world champion Daiya Seto made the cut, there are some glaring absences from the selected swimmers on both the men’s and women’s sides.
For the men, Shoma Sato, who owns three of the top ten men’s 200m breaststroke performances of all-time worldwide, is one notable name who missed out on Budapest based n his performances in Tokyo last weekend.
In his signature event, 21-year-old Sato placed 3rd with a time of 2:08.26, while Yu Hanaguruma and Ryuya Mura qualified ahead of him.
Another head-turning absence is that of both sprinting veterans Shinri Shioura and Katsumi Nakamura, neither of whom were able to sneak under the JASF-mandated time standards to book a ticket to Budapest.
Shioura took the men’s 50m free in 21.91 while Nakamura topped the 100m free podium in 48.57, which are solid efforts, but not enough to etch their name onto the lineup.
The fact there are no sprinters headed to Budapest is a step in the wrong direction for a country that once was on the right track to field a handful of speedsters. In fact, in 2019 it was Shioura himself who became Japan’s first 50m freestyle finalist at World Championships since 2001.
For the women, leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee is missing, which is also a result of the sprinter being unable to make the stiff Japanese qualifying standards in the individual free and fly events.
She did meet the minimum time standard for the medley relay in the 100m free, however, swimmers in the other disciplines did not make the grade, ergo, no relay going to Budapest.
It was Ageha Tanigawa who actually topped the 4IM podium, with Narita in second place and Ohashi in third. However, with Ohashi’s Tokyo gold, she earned the spot on the Worlds roster.
Japanese Roster for the 2022 FINA World Championships
Relays – Aoi Masuda, Momoka Yoshi