Japan’s Olympic Champion Hagino Will Train In Arizona This Fall

Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino is coming off of a successful Summer Universiade, where the 23-year-old earned 5 medals on the meet. Individually, the Japanese swimmer took gold in the 200m IM, silver in the 400m IM and silver in the 100m backstroke, while also claiming a medley relay bronze and gold as a member of Japan’s winning 4x200m free relay.

What’s next for the dynamic weapon who topped the 400m IM podium in Rio last summer? According to The Japan Times, the newly-minted professional athlete will be based in the United States, taking up training in Arizona for the time being.

“It’s a waste to stay in Japan. I feel like there are new things out there,” Hagino stated upon returning to his home nation post-Taipei. “I want to soak up all kinds of experiences and be an aggressive challenger.”

Part of being an aggressive challenger is continuing to rehab his elbow since having surgery late last year. The original injury stemmed from a bike fall while at training camp in France right before the 2015 World Championships, an incident which forced him to withdraw from that competition.

Although no specific institution has been named as Hagino’s new base, in the past, Hagino has trained at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, a locale which attracts athletes from around the world due to its high altitude. Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Jazz Carlin, as well as Hagino’s countryman Daiya Seto have all trained at NAU at some point.


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5 years ago

He’s looking for ways to keep going a few more years.

If he trains in the USA, maybe he’ll show up at some of the meets. The USA could use some good competition in the 200 IM and 400 IM and 200 free.

Years of Plain Suck
5 years ago

I’d love to see him train in Tucson with the amazing Augie Busch. He’d be the first man under 4 minutes in the 400 IM!

5 years ago

Phoenix Swim Club

I’ll put money on that

E Gamble
5 years ago

Bowman training Hagino to race Chase. I don’t think so.

Diana McCandless
Reply to  E Gamble
5 years ago

Exactly….I don’t understand why Bowman would ever train someone from a different country. I see that he has on several occasions, but could someone explain to my what, exactly, is the motivation to train one of your athletes to compete against another one of your athletes? If it were me, I would give one set of techniqjue tips to my favorite swimmer, and to the other I would say things like “bend your knees more”. 😉

Reply to  Diana McCandless
5 years ago

Bowman took on Agnel when Dwyer was in his group no?

Diana McCandless
Reply to  Pvdh
5 years ago

Yes….he did….I’m asking WHY? (all I got was thumbs down! what a bunch of not-very-helpful trolls)

5 years ago

still has the fastest bucket turn in the game. Such a trip to watch. Hope we still see many best times from him in the years to come

expert coach
5 years ago

Bowman is overrated. Give me Phelps and I’d also be considered one of the top coaches out there.

Reply to  expert coach
5 years ago

MA’s dad could out coach you 🙂

5 years ago

Hagino is one of my favorite swimmers, one of the most versatile swimmers out there. My favorite moment is when he upset Sun Yang in the 200 free at the 2014 Asian games.

Stan Crump
5 years ago

Perhaps ASU?

Reply to  Stan Crump
5 years ago

I’d actually love to see what he could do under Bowman. Bowman’s training philosophy is definitely not for everyone, but Hagino is a very Phelps-like swimmer– he has a strong 200 free, and tends towards the 200s of the strokes with a large aerobic base. I think he could do really well in Bowman’s program.

Reply to  CraigH
5 years ago

I thought Agnel was set up to do well in Bowman’s program, too. I have no idea what kind of yardage Hagino grew up swimming, but I think most people would agree the Japanese age group program does a phenomenal job of teaching technique. I suspect, for that reason, that Hagino did not grow up cranking out 10k per practice.

That being said, Bowman has done a great job of developing ASU so far, so it’s possible he realized after Agnel that not everyone has the recuperative ability he’s so used to dealing with in Phelps. If it is ASU, and Hagino does spend any significant amount of time there (definitely >6 weeks), we’ll find out.

Reply to  sven
5 years ago

I don’t think that Agnes’s problem was distance; he trained pretty hard in France.

Reply to  Crawler
5 years ago

He lost his DPS under Bowman. Why, that is the question!

Reply to  Crawler
5 years ago

He trained hard in France, but with more quality and fewer yards. He gave interviews to French media outlets saying Bowman’s program was all grind compared to what made him successful before.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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