Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsushita Rallies for 400 IM Win in New Championship Record (4:10.97)

2023 WORLD JUNIOR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tomoyuki Matsushita took down another World Junior Championship meet record on Friday, and this time the versatile 18-year-old from Japan also got a gold medal to show for it.

After breaking the Championship record in the 200-meter IM during prelims on Tuesday (1:58.52) only to be disqualified in the final, Matsushita earned redemption with a personal-best 4:10.97 in the 400 IM final. In the process of beating China’s Zhang Zhanshuo (4:12.44) and Canada’s Lorne Wigginton (4:12.81), Matsushita knocked nearly a full second off the former Championship record of 4:11.97 set by Greece’s Apostolos Papastamos in 2019.

Matsushita’s winning time would have qualified for the World Championships final this year and placed 6th. Japan could be a threat to put a pair in this Olympic final next summer between Matsushita and reigning Worlds bronze medalist Daiya Seto (4:09.41).

Heading into this meet, Matsushita’s lifetime best was a 4:12.20 posted in January in Australia. He took Friday night’s final out slightly slower on the front half before blazing home more than two seconds faster on the last freestyle leg (57.46 vs. 59.52). Matsushita actually sat in 2nd place behind teammate Riku Yamaguchi through the 300-meter mark, but Yamaguchi’s 59.95 freestyle split cost him a spot on the podium.

Matshushita’s 400 IM Splits Comparison

2023 World Juniors 2023 State Open (January)
100 Fly 56.71 56.45
100 Back 1:05.83 1:04.90
100 Breast 1:10.97 1:11.33
100 Free 57.46 59.52
400 IM Total 4:10.97 4:12.20

Zhang actually had the fastest freestyle split in the field with a 56.42 to capture the silver medal. Wigginton lowered his own Canadian age group record in the event by almost a full second en route to bronze. The 17-year-old had a previous best of 4:13.75 from the 2023 World Championships, where he placed 9th.

BOYS 400 IM – FINAL

  • World Junior Record: 4:10.02 – Ilya Borodin (RUS), 2021
  • Championship Record: 4:11.93 – Apostolos Papastamos (GRE), 2019
  • 2024 Olympic ‘A’ Standard: 4:12.50
    • ‘B’ Standard: 4:13.76
  1. Tomoyuki Matsushita (JPN), 4:10.97
  2. Zhang Zhanshuo (CHN), 4:12.44
  3. Lorne Wigginton (CAN), 4:12.81
  4. Riku Yamaguchi (JPN), 4:13.18
  5. Cooper Lucas (USA), 4:18.76
  6. Robert-Andrei Badea (ROU), 4:19.22
  7. Drew Hitchcock (USA), 4:19.87
  8. Oleksii Hrabarov (UKR), 4:25.57

The rest of the field was well back of the top four, with American Cooper Lucas 5th in a personal best of 4:18.76.

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Nick the biased Aussie
7 months ago

Good to see the Japanese doing well.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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