2019 JAPAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, April 2nd – Monday, April 8th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo, Japan
- Qualifying Meet for 2019 World Championships
- Meet Site
- SwimSwam Preview
- Psych Sheets (in Japanese)
The 2019 Japan Swimming Championships began today in Tokyo, where the nation’s best will be competing for a chance to represent their nation this summer in Gwangju at the 2019 World Championships. As we highlighted in our meet preview linked above, several key swimmers are missing from the meet, as Rikako Ikee is battling leukemia, Kosuke Hagino is battling motivation and both Junya Koga and, more recently, Hiromasa Fujimori are battling doping cases.
But the swimmers who were in the water tonight put on a show, led by Kengo Ida‘s 50m fly national record. Ida held the 23.40 national standard from this same meet last year, but lowered that to a remarkable 23.27 tonight to take gold and insert himself as #2 in the world rankings this season. You can rad more about his record-breaking swim here.
Another exciting swim same from a teenager in the form of Miyu Namba‘s surprise win over Chihiro Igarashi in the women’s’ 400m free. Namba trailed Igarashi only slightly after prelims, where the women clocked morning swims of 4:12.63 and 4:12.85.
Tonight, however, 16-year-old Namba raced the 400m of her life to check-in with a monster PB of 4:09.39. That represented the only swimmer to dip under the 4:10 threshold, with Igarashi settling for silver in 4:10.89, while Chinatsu Satou rounded out the top 3 in 4:10.95.
All women fall outside of the minimum qualification standard of 4:05.49 needed to land a spot on the JPN roster for Gwangju, however.
The story was the same on the men’s side where Keisuke Yoshida topped the podium in a time of 3:47.10, good enough for 4th in the world, but short of the 3:45.89 JPN-dictated QT. Runner-up Naito Ehara‘s time of 3:48.07 also enters the world rankings at #8. Yousuke Miyamoto didn’t make the under-3:50 mark, clocking 3:51.87 for bronze tonight.
Just for comparison, at this same meet last year, Ehara took the title in 3:47.43.
The other races this evening were all semi-finals, but thrilling in their own right. Pan Pacs champion Yasuhiro Koseki landed the top seed of the men’s 100m breast, registering a semi time of 59.65, his 2nd fastest of the season. Koseki already owns a season-best of 59.24 clocked at the Kirara Cup in January.
Yuuya Hinomoto will do his best to chase Koseki tomorrow night, also clearing the minute threshold in the semi’s with the 2nd seeded 59.91. That’s Hinomoto’s first time ever under the minute threshold.
Two Watanabe men are also in the mix with Hayto in 3rd in 1:00.11, while 200m breast world record holder Ippei is 4th in 1:00.12 headed into tomorrow night.
Yui Ohashi easily leads the women’s 200m IM field with her semi effort of 2:10.51, not too far off her season-best and #2 time in the world of 2:09.14 from the Hanamatsu Championships. Rika Omoto will flank the world championships silver medalist in the event, holding a seeded time of 2:12.03.
The women’s 100m fly semi also took place tonight with Hiroko Makino making her mark with a time of 58.56. That held off 2nd seed Ai Soma, for now, as the teen will be right alongside her in 58.60, just .04 behind headed into tomorrow night.
Rounding out the top 3 is the 200m fly bronze medalist from Hangzhou, Suzuka Hasegawa, who has the potential to rain on the aforementioned parade, holding the 3rd seed now in 58.71.
We will keep a running list of the probable Japanese roster headed to Gwangju in a separate daily post, so look for that.