As we reported, with Japanese Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino‘s having opted out of both the Japan Swim in April, as well as the Japan Open that concluded last weekend, the 24-year-old forfeited any chance of qualifying for this summer’s World Championships.
When Hagino announced his withdrawal from the Japan Swim, the 24-year-old Bridgestone swimmer stated, “I’ve been unable to achieve the results I had hoped for since the 2017 season.
“As the gap between my targets and reality has widened, it has become harder for me to maintain my motivation.”
Japan National Team Head Coach Norimasa Hirai told Japanese media at the time, “In his current condition it would be really hard [for Hagino to perform well at the Japan Championships.]”
“He’s not in very good spirits. He needs to rest and when he decides to comes back, he needs to start swimming for himself.”
Prior to that, Hagino announced he was staying home from the national team’s training camp scheduled for Spain, instead trying to reboot himself with rest.
However, the IM specialist has been getting the itch to return to competition and has announced his re-commitment to take on Tokyo 2020. Hagino has announced he is now aiming for a competitive return at either the FINA World Cup stop #1 taking place on his home turn of Tokyo August 2nd – 4th or the 71st National Meet slated to begin on September 1st.
Says the Bridgestone professional swimmer, “This year I experienced extreme depression.” He continued, “The difference between what I wanted to happen and what my actual results were dampened my motivation.”
“Before and after the Japan Swim I stayed in Germany for about 2 weeks and spent a lot of time soul-searching by visiting various places. During that time, my body improved little by little.”
Head Coach Norimasa Hirai says that choosing the FINA World Cup or the National Meet is a good indication of Hagino’s seriousness, as both of these 2 tournaments are Olympic-qualifying meets.
Hagino re-affirmed, “With a strong heart, I come back to the game.” (Biglobe.ne.jp)
Review of Hagino’s activity in 2019:
- Hamamatsu LC Championships In January: Hagino finished 2nd to Daiya Seto in the men’s 400m IM, registering a time of 4:15.79. He also took 2nd to Seto in the 200m IM in 1:58.67.
- Konami Open in February: After registering a time of 4:23.66 for 7th seed in prelims of the 400m IM, Hagino opted out of the final and wound up scratching the remainder of the Chiba Prefecture-hosted meet. He wound up going to the hospital, but nothing of note was discovered.
- February: Withdrew from training camp in Spain.
- March: Announced he would not be competing at the Japan Swim, the 1st of 2 World Championships qualifying meets.
- Present: At the office of the Japanese Swimming Federation President and in the presence of Kosuke Kitajima, Hagino pledges his re-commitment to competitive swimming with Tokyo 2020 in his sights.