Kosuke Matsui Digs Deep For 21.88 50 Free On JPN Festival Day 2


Day 2 of the 2019 Japan National Sports Festival saw 4 more meet records bite the dust, starting with Reona Aoki‘s gold medal-worthy time of 1:06.07 in the 100m breast.

Aoki’s time beat the field at Ibaraki Swimming Arena by over 1 1/2 seconds but also hacked .60 off of the previous meet record of 1:06.67.

Her time of 1:06.07 tonight also outperformed the 24-year-old’s outing of 1:06.40 notched at this year’s World Championships in Gwangju, Korea. There Aoki finished in 4th place, missing out on bronze by just .04.

The men’s 100m breast race also saw its meet record get overwritten, courtesy of Yasuhiro Koseki. The two-time Pan Pacific Championships gold medalist produced a winning effort of 59.23 to crush the previous meet record mark of 59.87 and clock the only sub-minute time of the field tonight.

Like Aoki, Koseki finished 4th in this event in Gwangju, collecting a time of 58.93. He owns the Japanese National Record with his lifetime best of 58.78 put up at the Monaco stop of last year’s Mare Nostrum Tour.

The 3rd and 4th meet records of the night fell courtesy of the Niigata men’s 4x50m freestyle relay. Kosuke Matsui led his squad off with a big-time split of 21.88 to check-in with a new 50m free personal best, but also a meet record. His squad fed off of his energy, ultimately hitting the wall in a collective time of 1:28.58 to dip under the previous relay meet record of 1:28.69.

Additional splits in the Niigata record included 22.02 from Takuya Hasegawa, 22.46 from Akira Kitayama and 22.22 from Yota Higuchi.

20-year-old Rio Shirai raced her way to 2 gold medals this evening, first hitting the wall in a time of 54.27 in the women’s 100m free. That led a foursome of sub-55 second swimmers, a group that also included runner-up Aya Sato in 54.41, Rika Omoto in 54.77 and Imai Tsuki in a time of 54.82.

Shirai’s next victim was the women’s 100m back, where she nailed a winning time of 59.58 to represent the only swimmer under a minute in the race. Shirai produced a monster PB of 2:07.87 200m back last weekend at the Japanese Student Swimming Championships.

The men’s 100m back saw Masaki Kaneko touch first, hitting the wall in a mark of 54.57. The 27-year-old Olympian edged out Takahiro Yamazaki, who produced a time just a fingernail behind in 54.58.

Olympic champion in the 400m IM, Kosuke Hagino, finished 2nd in the 200m IM yesterday and also contested this 100m back event today. However, his morning effort of 55.50 rendered him 9th and out of tonight’s final.

Katsumi Nakamura notched a time of 49.20 to take the men’s 100m freestyle, with Matsui finished behind with the silver in 49.36. Juran Mizohata also delved under the 50-second barrier with bronze in 49.85.

Additional Winners:

  • Kina Hayashi beat the women’s 200m fly field, clocking a winning time of 2:09.50.
  • The men’s 200m fly saw Honda Tomoru get the job done with a mark of 1:56.70.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

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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