Japan’s Kosuke Hagino Latest Victim of Kazan Curse; Questionable for World Championships

by Retta Race 28

July 02nd, 2015 Asia, International, News

Big news coming out of Japan today, as the country’s media is reporting one of its biggest swimming stars set to compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships, Kosuke Hagino, is now questionable for Kazan.

Due to what is being vaguely described as a ‘mishap’ on the way to practice in Vichy, Hagino injured his elbow, enough where the athlete has reportedly been flown back to Japan for treatment.  With a fracture suspected, sources out of Japan describe Hagino’s status for worlds as “in doubt”.  Hagino is slated to hold a press conference in the next few days to report on his status.

Hagino is currently ranked 5th in the 400m freestyle and holds two world number one-ranked times in the 200 IM and 400 IM.  Hagino’s teammate, Daiya Seto, is the second-fastest male in each of the two IM events, therefore, Japan will still have major player representation in the events in Kazan.  However, if Hagino is indeed absent, the door is substantially opened for rival competitors to take advantage of a Hagino-less race, particularly USA’s Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM and Great Britain’s Dan Wallace in the 400 IM.

Hagino is just the latest in a shockingly growing list of primetime swimmers having to drop out of Worlds due various reasons, including Yannick Agnel’s illness announcement, Therese Alshammer’s injury and James Magnussen’s shoulder surgery.  Michael Phelps is also not on the Worlds roster for the United States, per his DUI suspension punishment, while South Korea’s Park Tae-Hwan is currently serving a doping ban.


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Huge news. A shame for the quality of the field in the IMs and another blow to the field overall. Of course not a shame for those with increased podium odds.

I had the chance to see Hagino and Seto race up close recently. Hagino had a prelims 200IM where he got comfortably ahead by the last wall and shut it down like I have never seen in the free. Comically easy, unfatigued, energy-conserving speed at the end for a 2:00. It was only prelims but as I watched I thought, man is this guy dangerous. Seto closed like a beast in all his races.


What a blow. He had great chances in the IM’s, but I was looking forward to his 200 and 400m free. That’s where he was looking to really prove his class.


Lotche would surely benefit a lot if the only guy who could beat him on 200im were not there. But Dan Wallace? Really?


This sucks. Not only for the 200 IM. Without Agnel and him, the 200 free is going to be a much less interesting race. Until today, I considered him the best candidate for a gold medal after McEvoy.

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