Matsumoto Rocks 1:44.65 Japanese Record In 200 Freestyle


World Championships silver medalist Katsuhiro (Katsuo) Matsumoto just became the first man from Japan to ever get under the 1:45 threshold in the 200m freestyle.

While competing on day 3 of the 2021 Japan Swim, the sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity for Japanese swimmers, Matsumoto fired off a massive effort of 1:44.65, beating the stacked field by over 3 seconds en route to cracking his own national record.

Matsumoto charged off the blocks in an opening 100m of 50.42 before sealing the deal with a 54.23 back half. In doing so, the 24-year-old easily overtook his own previous Japanese standard of 1:45.13, a mark he established just this past January. Splits for that earlier swim included 51.18/53.95.

Matsumoto now ranks as the 9th fastest performer ever worldwide in this men’s 200m free event, joining an exclusive sub-1:45 club that contains the likes of American Michael Phelps and Frenchman Yannick Agnel.

Matsumoto’s result also booked his ticket to Tokyo for the postponed Olympic Games. His new lifetime best easily cleared the 1:45.76 required by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) to qualify for the home-based Games, with Matsumoto representing the only man to do so. Teenager Konosuke Yanagimotojust 17 years of age, produced a runner-up effort of 1:47.45, while former national record holder in this event, Kosuke Hagino, rounded out the top 3 in 1:47.72.

Additionally, the federation set a minimum threshold of 7:08.31 for the men’s 800m free relay. The aforementioned top 3 finishers, along with 4th placed Takahashi Kotaro‘s 1:47.93 collectively comes in at 7:07.75, good enough to qualify.

Top Men LCM 200 Free Performers All-Time

  1. Paul Biedermann (GER) – 1:42.00, 2009
  2. Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:42.96, 2008
  3. Yannick Agnel (FRA) – 1:43.14, 2012
  4. Danila Izotov (RUS) – 1:43.90, 2009
  5. Ian Thorpe (AUS) – 1:44.06, 2001
  6. Danas Rapsys (LTU) – 1:44.38, 2019
  7. Sun Yang (CHN) – 1:44.39, 2017
  8. Ryan Lochte (USA) – 1:44.44, 2011
  9. Katsuhiro Matsumoto (JPN) – 1:44.65, 2021
  10. Park Tae Hwan (KOR) – 1:44.80, 2010

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3 months ago

I hear Lapsis and Scott trembling …

Reply to  dddd
3 months ago

Yes, lots of major times being thrown down all over the place! Russia’s 4×200 looking very menacing as well.

Hopefully the fast times will continue over various national trials into the next 2 weeks!

Corn Pop
Reply to  dddd
3 months ago

This Lapsis guy , when he hears he has to do the 200 at the Olympics .

Agnel is the best 200 freestyler of all time
3 months ago

Yannick Agnel’s 1:43.1 at just 20 years old is just next level.

3 months ago

It’s already very impressive that PVDH’s time from about 20 years ago can stay in top 10 for so long.

3 months ago

Is he the one who was caught doping before?

Reply to  Noooooo
3 months ago

Oop. Yes he was.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Pvdh
3 months ago

The amount was so low and barely detectable. A Fina board determined that he ingested the food after Matsumoto gave a list of the foods he had eaten that week. So unless you consider Melanie Margalis to be a doper as well, there’s no reason to consider Matsumoto one.

Reply to  Mr Piano
3 months ago

Margalis or Madisyn Cox?

Agnel is the best 200 freestyler of all time
3 months ago

Yannick Agnel’s 1:43.1 at just 20 years old is just next level.

3 months ago

Shiiiii….time for a comeback. LFG

3 months ago

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Retta Race

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