Matsumoto Chasing Worlds Qualification With 1:46 200 Free Prelim At Japan Swim


Day two of the 2023 Japan Swim saw one of Japan’s Olympic icons in the pool as 33-year-old Ryosuke Irie dove in for the men’s 100m back.

Irie put up a solid heats swim of 53.99 to lead the field, already within striking distance of the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF)-mandated qualification time of 53.74 needed for the World Championships.

Irie has already been as quick as 52.93 from the Kosuke Kitajima Cup this past January, a time which situates the mainstay 3rd in the world this season.

The women’s 100m back saw Rio Shirai take control with a top-seeded swim of 1:00.81. That got the edge over 2nd-seeded Miki Takahashi who clocked 1:00.86 as the only other swimmer under 1:01 this morning.

The women will be chasing a qualification standard of 59.99, a mark Shirai’s lifetime best of 59.43 from 2019 has surpassed.

Reona Aoki landed lane four in the women’s 100m breast, registering a morning result of 1:06.82. That’s less than a second off her season-best of 1:06.11, a time which rendered Aoki #1 in the world for several months.

She’ll be hunted by the likes of Satomi Suzuki, Kanako Watanabe and Runa Imai in tonight’s final as the women pursue the QT of 1:06.79.

Freestyle ace Katsuhiro Matsumoto topped the men’s 200m free heats with a swift AM outing of 1:46.94. The 26-year-old’s best time of the season rests at the 1:45.88 produced last November and he’ll need to be closer to that mark to score a spot on the World Championships roster.

Of note, yesterday’s 400m IM king Daiya Seto also made it into the men’s 200m free final, posting a heats swim of 1:48.86.

According to the World Aquatics database, 28-year-old Seto carries a lifetime best of 1:47.71 from way back in 2015. Here, he’s most likely vying for a slot on the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay should he finish among the top 4.

Finally, Hayato Watanabe was the top men’s 50m breaststroker, logging a prelim mark of 27.22. Yuki Matsumura was next in 27.26 while Taishi Takada is also in the mix with a heats swim of 27.28.

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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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