2019 JAPAN NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
- Saturday, September 14th – Monday, September 16th
- Ibaraki Swimming Arena
- Start Lists/Results (in Japanese)
The 74th annual National Sports Festival in Japan is set to kick-off on Saturday, September 14th with some of the nation’s brightest swimming stars taking to the Ibaraki Swimming Arena pool over the 3-day meet.
Although his partner-in-IM-crime Daiya Seto will be absent from this meet, Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino is entered to swim, taking on his pet 200m IM event, as well as the 100m back.
After a several-month-long hiatus to tend to physical and mental health, 25-year-old Hagino returned to the pool at the FINA World Cup stop in Tokyo, collecting 200m IM bronze in a time of 2:00.03. Since that meet in early August, Hagino’s impending marriage to Japanese singer/songwriter miwa has been revealed, along with the couple’s announcement they are expecting their first child together this winter.
200m breast national record holder Ippei Watanabe is entered in that discipline for the Festival, while near-national-record-setting Shinnosuke Ishikawa is entered in the men’s 100m fly.
Ishikawa recently nailed a new 100m fly lifetime best of 51.11 at the Japanese Student Swimming Championships, which concluded just last weekend. There in Tokyo, Ishikawa’s time came within .11 of the Japanese standard of 51.00 that’s been on the books since 2009.
World Championships bronze medalist in the 400m IM, Yui Ohashi, is entered in the 200m IM and 100m fly, while on-fire Rio Shirai is also slated to swim. For Shirai, the 19-year-old is coming off of a career-best 2:07.87 200m back outing at the Japanese Student Swimming Championships.
Additional swimmers set to race this weekend include Ai Soma, Tomomi Aoki, Katsumi Nakamura, Shinri Shioura, Reona Aoki, Waka Kobori, Keisuke Yoshida, Yuki Kobori, Satomi Suzuki.