Kobori Takes Down Japan’s Longest-Standing National Record


  • Sunday, February 14th
  • Yokohama International Swimming Pool
  • SCM (25m)
  • Results

20-year-old Waka Kobori quietly made history earlier this week by becoming the fastest Asian woman 1500m freestyler of all-time.

While competing at the 43rd National JOC Spring Prefectural Qualifier in Kanagawa on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, Kobori fired off a lifetime best of 15:44.84. That not only easily grabbed the gold at the domestic meet, but it overtook the nation’s longest-standing national record.

The previous Japanese mark in this women’s SCM 1500 free stood at the 15:51.68 Sachiko Yamada put on the books way back in 2003. That time represented Japan’s longest-standing national record.

Kobori’s time also overtakes the overall Asian continental record in this grueling event which stood at that same standard.

“I didn’t like it, but I’m glad I was able to race to meet the expectations of the coaches in Kanagawa,” is what Kobori’s Instagram message read, with an image of her record certificate.

Kobori, who took double gold in the 800m and 1500m freestyle events at the 2019 Summer Universiade (World University Games), has been on a tear as of late. Already this year she put up the fastest long course 400 freestyle of her career, producing a time of 4:07.24 to become Japan’s 4th fastest woman ever in the event.

Two days later she logged a time of 8:27.08 in the women’s 800m free to check-in as Japan’s 3rd fastest performer all-time.

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About Retta Race

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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