2021 TOKYO SENIOR SPRING MEET
- Thursday, February 4th & Friday, February 5th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
Reigning 400m IM Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino of Japan just put his hat into the ring of potential 200m backstroke Olympic qualifiers tonight, throwing down a massive swim in Tokyo..
Competing on day 1 of the 2021 Tokyo Senior Spring Meet at the Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, 26-year-old Hagino posted a huge mark of 1:55.84 to snag the silver behind equally impressive teammate Ryosuke Irie.Irie stopped the clock tonight in a mark of 1:55.65 to get to the wall less than .2 ahead of Hagino.
31-year-old Irie’s result here falls just .10 outside of his season-best of 1:55.55 from last December, a performance which ranks him #2 in the world behind China’s Xu Jiayu.
Hagino now ranks the 3rd fastest man in the world this season, with a time that would have grabbed the bronze at the 2019 FINA World Championships.
Splits for Irie’s 1:55.65 included 56.46/59.19, while Hagino opened in 57.20 and closed in 58.64 to capture the 6th fastest time of his storied career.
As for Hagino, he owns a lifetime best of 1:54.23 in this event, but that result was registered way back in 2014. His 1:55.84 outing here is by far his best since that time, nearly 7 years, inserting him into the conversation of would-be qualifiers for Japan in this event at the home-based Olympic Games.
Additional contenders for an Olympic spot in this 2back for Japan include Keita Sunama, a mainstay who clocked a season-best of 1:56.11 to rank 4th in the world this season, while Masaki Kaneko, who was in tonight’s race with a 1:58.90, is also among Japan’s best at the moment.
However, as we’ve seen with Australia’s Mitch Larkin, the 200m back/200m IM double is a tough one at which to excel, with both events overlapping at both the Japan Swim (Olympic Trials) and the Olympic Games themselves.
Look for a full recap of today’s Tokyo Senior Spring Meet.