At Japan’s Intercollegiate Championships, Kosuke Hagino just bettered his own national and continental 200 IM record by a hair, going 1:55.33 to win the event.
Hagino’s old record was 1:55.38, which he set back at the Japanese Championships in April. He’s been on fire so far this week, nearly breaking the national record in the 100 free leading off his team’s medley a day before cracking this record. Hagino also led off his team’s medley relay in a 52.78, just a half-second off a national record there.
The backstroke time is probably less important to Japan internationally, if only because the country already has Ryosuke Irie to man that spot in the medleys, and because of the strength of that event across the world. Still, it bodes very well for Hagino’s IMs, as versatility has always been his major strength. A guy who can compete internationally in both the IMs and races like the 100 free or 100 back is a key piece for any nation trying to build an international squad.
Fellow national star Daiya Seto was second in that 200 IM, going a 1:57.08, a very solid time as well.
In the women’s race, Sakiko Shimizu came up with a 2:11.92 to pick up the win by a half-second with Miho Teramura second (2:12.66).
The 200 frees also went off in this session, with Chihiro Igarashi coming from behind to win the women’s race in 1:59.07 and Olympian Yuki Kobori taking the men’s gold in 1:47.33.
Kenta Hirai came up with a big swim in the men’s 100 fly, going 52.27. After being nipped for the 200 fly title a day earlier, Hirai got a touchout of his own, with second-place Hirofumi Ikebata finishing .01 behind in 52.28. In the women’s race, Rino Hosoda led a quartet of women under a minute, going 59.12 for the win.