Koseki Swims 4th-Fastest 200 Breast in History to Upend Watanabe


  • Thursday, April 13th – Sunday, April 16th, 2017
  • NGK Arena, Nagoya, Japan
  • Qualification Meet for 2017 World Championships, World University Games and World Junior Championships
  • Prelims at 9:30am local/8:30pm (night before) EDT; Finals at 6pm local/5am EDT
  • Meet Information
  • Entry List (in Japanese)
  • Live Stream
  • Live Results

200 breaststroke World Record holder Ippei Watanabe took just 2nd in his first major championship since breaking the 200 breaststroke World Record in January.

Swimming in the same race, Watanabe posted a 2:07.60 on Sunday, the final day of the 2017 Japanese national championship meet, but was beaten by Yasuhiro Koseki on a 2:07.18. That swim by Koseki now stands as the 4th-best performance in this history of the event.

All-Time Top 5 Performances in 200 LCM Breaststroke:

  1. Ippei Watanabe, 2:06.67, 2017
  2. Akihiro Yamaguchi, 2:07.01, 2012
  3. Josh Prenot, 2:07.17, 2017
  4. Yasuhiro Koseki, 2:07.18, 2017
  5. Ippei Watanabe, 2:07.22, 2017

Japan now holds 4 of the all-time top 5 performances in the history of the event.

In the women’s 200 breaststroke, Reona Aoki, the silver medalist at both the 2015 World University Games and winner at the 2016 Asian Championships, took gold in 2:23.24. 26-year old veteran Satomi Suzuki, a triple Olympic medalist in London, finished 2nd, but was 2 seconds slower in 2:25.27.

Kosuke Hagino picked up his 4th win of the meet, swimming a 1:56.39 in the men’s 200 backstroke. The race was a four-way dead heat at the halfway mark, and the field whittled to 3 by 150 meters before Hagino’s finishing length overcame Ryosuke Irie (1:57.06) and Masaki Kaneko (1:57.16).

While Hagino lost the 400 IM, the race that earned him a gold medal in Rio, earlier in the meet to Daiya Seto, he won the other 4 races he competed in: 200 free, 400 free, 200 back, and 200 IM.

Other Event Winners:

  • Shinri Shioura and Katsumi Nakamura tied for the win in the 50 free in 21.97. The top 3 finishers on Sunday were all faster than Nakamura’s winning time from last year’s edition of the race.
  • Teenager Rikako Ikee swam 24.57 to win the women’s 50 free, which is just short of her own 24.48 Japanese Record. She added a second win for the day with a 57.39 later in the session in the women’s 100 fly final.
  • Natsumi Sakai won the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:10.14, using a late burst of energy to make up a 1.1 second gap on Sayaka Akase (2:10.22).
  • Yuuki Kobori won the men’s 100 fly in 51.98.

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Ex Quaker
7 years ago

What happened to Yamaguchi?? Absolutely no notable results since his WR in 2012. He went 2:16 in this race…

Tea rex
7 years ago

A little slow for Irie, who was consistently 1:54s for years. Hope the mac training pays off for him in Budapest

7 years ago

Everyone’s been tossing out names for potential medalists in Budapest….don’t for get about Daniel Gyurta. Although he’s been off the radar since his debacle in Rio, he’s been training under Nagy, and may be out to dial up one last hurrah in his home WC’s. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he ends up in the final and in the mix for a spot on the podium!

Reply to  Cyrus
7 years ago

You’re right, perhaps we’ll see it in a week at the national champs.

7 years ago

Don’t forget Adam Peaty has a 2:08.5 in the bank and has never trained for the 200m properly. Imagine when he starts to focus on that for Tokyo

IMs for days
7 years ago

What were his splits? Yoseki is a front swimmer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he took it out under 1:01.
So in budapest we have a potential final with these names
Wanatanabe 2:06.67
Yoseki 2:07.18
Prenot 2:07.17
Baladin 2:07.47
Koch 2:07.47
Chupkov 2:07.70
Persson 2:07.85
Willis 2:07.78

Also Cordes or Licon could challenge. The WR may not be broken, but I see several 2:07s and even 2:06s in the final. This is going to be the best race in Budapest

Reply to  IMs for days
7 years ago
Reply to  IMs for days
7 years ago

200 fly will be as much as fun.

Reply to  Emanuele
7 years ago

exactly – even the 100 free

7 years ago

Man, 200 breast in Budapest is gonna be some kind of fight. I think USA sends Prenot and Licon (though Cordes/Wilson/Fink/Miller could challenge too). Honestly I have no idea who will win it. Prenot has been looking great this year, Licon went 1:47 SCY, Watanabe holds the WR, and Koseki just beat the him with the fourth fastest performance ever.
Licon has incredible efficiency which should mean he’s better LC, but he also has great underwaters in breast, so out of the four I’ve mentioned he’s the wild card.
If someone guns for a 2:06 off the bat then I think we’ll see multiple 2:06s. If people are more timid, 2:06 high to 2:07 wins it. As for… Read more »

Reply to  Person
7 years ago

Balandin, Willis, Koch, Murdoch, Chupkov, Persson, Koseki, Watanabe, Cordes (plus maybe Tan Haiyan) are all capable of an sub-2.08

Reply to  Emanuele
7 years ago

You must have meant sub 2:07, because all of them have already swum 2:08

I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed an event in a major meet (Olympics or Worlds) where ALL finalist are equally capable of winning gold.

The competition depth is in men’s 200 breast is just outrageous, but I have a hunch this year a Japanese man will finally win a breastroke gold in a breast event, that is, if they learned from their mistakes in Rio.

Reply to  NYJOHN
7 years ago

I meant sub 2:08, breast is the most difficult style to perform in high-stress situation because even a little tension slow you down a lot (just look at Watanabe or Prenot in Rio and Koseki in Kazan). It’s not a case if all women WR was made in semifinal.
IMHO Gold in Budapest will be something like 2:07:20 with silver a couple of tenths of second behind.

Reply to  Person
7 years ago

Ohh yes – maybe the biggest dog fight to be watched – the 200 free wont be disappointing either …..or the 200 butterfly

7 years ago

Japan is so absurdly good at secondary distance strokes. Also I believe Prenot’s time is from OT so 2016

Reply to  Uberfan
7 years ago

I know, must be crazy to swim the 4th best performance of all time and still be only the 3rd fastest performer in your country’s history.

Reply to  pinodee
7 years ago

It’s crazy swim 2.07.60 and arrived second… on a national championship. That is the 17th performance of all-time and wuold be enough to win the bronze medal in Rio.

Reply to  Emanuele
7 years ago

Same kind of absurd times went on last year at the Us Olympic trials for the Men’s 100 back . A 52.5 was becoming nearly routine …….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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