Japan’s Ippei Watanabe Rocks New 200 Breast World Record In Sub-2:07

While competing at the 2017 Kosuke Kitajima Cup, 19-year-old Japanese swimmer Ippei Watanabe cranked out a shiny new World Record in the men’s long course meters 200 breaststroke. Firing off a monster 2:06.67 at the Tatsumi International Swim Centre tonight on Tokyo, Watanabe became the first man ever to score a sub-2:07 200 breast, easily overtaking the previous world record mark by .34 seconds.

The elusive 200 breast World Record was previously held by countryman Akihiro Yamaguchi with the 2:07.01 he set in 2012. Although Yamaguchi has been silent ever since, Watanabe has quietly and steadily been on the rise, having broken the World Junior Record in this event back in May 2015. Although it’s since been overtaken by Russia’s Anton Chupkov, Watanabe’s junior mark of 2:09.75 from just less than 2 years ago gives an eye-opening view of this young man’s progression in the event.

Split Comparison

Yamaguchi – 1:01.72/1:05.29 = 2:07.01
Watanabe – 1:01.33/1:05.34 = 2:06.67

Watanabe made a run at an Olympic gold medal in the 200 breast, heading into the Rio final with a newly-minted Olympic Record of 2:07.22 in the semi-finals. Unable to replicate that caliber of performance, the teen ultimately finished in 6th place overall in a slower 2:07.87.

Posted by Kosuke Kitajima Official Site on Saturday, January 28, 2017

However, with tonight’s performance, Watanabe may have just foreshadowed a thrilling breaststroke performance that may be in store come the 2020 Olympic Games when the then-23-year-old may be performing in front of a home crowd.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – All-time

  1. Ippei Watanabe, JPN (2017) – 2:06.67
  2. Akihiro Yamaguchi, JPN (2012) – 2:07.01
  3. Josh Prenot, USA (2016) – 2:07.17
  4. Daniel Gyurta, HUN (2013) – 2:07.23
  5. Ross Murdoch, GBR (2014) – 2:07.30


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Finally! That WR has been looking precarious for the last three years


First WR OF 2017! Congrats to Watanabe! As an American I selfishly hope Prenot will lower the mark…but regardless this should set up an epic showdown at the 2017 worlds


…also, video or it didnt happen. Get on it swimsawm

Attila the Hunt

19 yo swam 2:06. Incredible.

Bobo, what does that translate to SCY?

About Loretta Race

Loretta 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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