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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Stan Crump
3 years ago

Perhaps ASU?

Reply to  Stan Crump
3 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
3 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
3 years ago

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

Reply to  Crawler
3 years ago

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

Reply to  Crawler
3 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.

3 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.

expert coach
3 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
3 years ago

MA’s dad could out coach you 🙂

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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