Kosuke Hagino’s Retirement Announcement Now Official

We reported this past August that Olympic medalist Kosuke Hagino was set to retire later this year and the man has now made it official.

The 27-year-old made his announcement on social media, revealing that, “I, Kosuke Hagino, decided to retire from active duty with the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and my affiliation Bridgestone and sponsor Nike for their continued support for my swimming life from 6 months to 27 years, good and bad. Swimming is not the only thing to get better at. I would like to continue to take on challenges by making use of what sports have taught me in my future life.”

A multi-World Championships medalist, national champion, Pan Pacific Championships medalist and Asian Games medalist, Hagino’s career highlight came when he took the men’s 400m IM Olympic gold medal in Rio 5 years ago while also claiming silver in the 200m IM event at those 2016 Games.

Hagino has been on the elite international swimming scene since 2011 when he wreaked havoc on the World Junior Championships, grabbing 5 medals in Lima, Peru, including 200m IM gold. He followed that up with 400m IM bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In 2013, Hagino claimed 400m free and 200m IM silver at the 2013 World Championships before taking IM double gold at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. The man captured World Championships silver in the 200m IM in 2017 before having a rocky 2018/2019 stretch.

Physical and mental burnout culminated with Hagino’s decision to forego the Japanese national team training camp in Spain in the spring of 2019, an important tollgate heading into that year’s Japan Swim and Japan Open. Hagino ultimately opted out of both those competitions, forfeiting any chance of qualifying for the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships.

On a personal level, Hagino got married and welcomed his first child into the world in late 2019, which contributed to his entering 2020 with renewed vigor.

Despite opting out of defending his 400m IM title and not medaling in the 200m IM in Tokyo at this year’s Olympic Games, Hagino cried happy tears that his career had been so successful and he again regained his love of swimming.

He and teammate Daiya Seto were the Japanese equivalent of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in terms of IM prowess, dominance and competitiveness domestically for a number of years.

“Chasing him all this time made me who I am today,” Hagino has said of Seto. “For me, he was a huge presence.”

“It’s sad, but I’ll keep trying as I still have a lot of challenges ahead of me and win a gold medal (at the Olympics) as he did. Thank you for the best memories.”

Hagino still owns the Japanese long course national records in the men’s 400m free (3:43.90 from 2014), as well as the 200mIM (1:55.07 from 2016) and 400m IM (4:06.05 from 20166).

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Virtus
1 month ago

So much respect

Mr Piano
1 month ago

He’s arguably the 3rd greatest male IMer in history

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Piano
Sapnu puas
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Poor Cseh!

Reid
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Great and versatile swimmer but I wouldn’t put him ahead of Phelps, Lochte, Darnyi, or Dolan.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Reid
1 month ago

Darnyi closed his 200 IMs in 27 point about a decade before Michael Andrew was even born

Mr Piano
Reply to  Reid
1 month ago

He went 1:55.0 in the 200 IM and 4:06.0 in the 400 IM as Olympic champion, I think that puts him solidly ahead of Darnyi and Dolan.

Sean Justice
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Phelps – enough said
Darnyi didn’t lose a 4IM race for years, like in any meet.
Dolan won two golds back to back
Lotche
Kosuke

whever
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

You can’t compare times from different eras directly, otherwise even Morozov is greater than Popov.

Canadian Swammer
Reply to  Reid
1 month ago

Ya as an IMer maybe not with Darnyi ot Dolan but his sheer versatility was perhaps the best aside from Phelps. Especially in a single year. In 2014 he put up ridiculous times in 200Fr, 400Fr, 100Bk, 200Bk and both IMs. My favorite race from Hagino is probably actually 2014 Asian Games 200 Free where he back halfs Sun Yang and Park Tae Hwan for Gold in 1:45 low. If you havent seen it, its worth a watch! The last UW is Phelpsesque!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Canadian Swammer
1 month ago

How does that versatility trump Lochte? 47 high 100 relay split, 1:44, 51 100 fly 3rd at OTs, WR in 200 IM, 2nd best and faster than Hagino in 400 IM, Olympic gold in 200 back, and that’s just LCM. He was insane in SCY and SCM in many more events.

Landen
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Also was an elite 200 back and 200-400 free swimmer as well

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Sure, for 200 or 400 IM, but what about the first 150?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

The GOAT 150 IMer, Michael Andrew

Hoosier Daddy
1 month ago

Respect to an all time great!✊

Mclovin
1 month ago

Never forget his absolutely monstruous schedule in Barcelona 2013, 100-200 back, 200-400 medley and 200-400 freestyle. If I am not mistaken he made it to the final in every single event. His broken elbow was a turning point in his career. I think he could have achieved even more greatness. Anyway, three olympic indiviual medals is something to be very proud of.

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
1 month ago

1:45.23 200 free
3:43.90 400 free
52.78 100 back
1:54.23 200 back
1:55.07 200 IM
4:06.05 400 IM (4:08.94 true wjr)

insane range

Last edited 1 month ago by McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Masters swimmer
1 month ago

Truly awesome career. Cheers and best wishes in retirement.

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Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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