Matsumoto Clocks Solid Sub-49 100 Free At Chiba Prefectural Meet

2020 Chiba Prefectural Meet (JPN)

  • Saturday, August 8th & Sunday, August 9th
  • Chiba International Swimming Center, Narashino, Chiba, Japan
  • 50m (LCM)
  • Timed Finals
  • Results (in Japanese)

The 200m free silver medalist at last year’s FINA World Aquatic Championships, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, is in action this weekend at the Chiba Prefectural Meet.

As we reported, due to the coronavirus restrictions within the nation of Japan, the usually one-location Japanese National Junior Olympic Cup is being held at the prefectural level. Dates for the various local competitions span Saturday, July 18th through Wednesday, September 30th. As in the past, swimmers are broken into age groups of 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and ‘championship’, with age determined as of August 22nd of this year.

When all competitions have been conducted, times performed across the 47 prefectures will be ranked virtually and qualifying times for additional national meets will be validated.

This Chiba meet represents one such competition, with Matsumoto taking on the men’s 100m free on day 1. In the timed final, 23-year-old Matsumoto punched a time of 48.94 to crush the field in the only result under the 51-second mark.

Splitting 23.32/25.62, Matsumoto’s sub-49 second outing here is another indicator that the man hasn’t missed too much of a beat after spending several weeks out of the water due to his nation’s coronavirus-related lockdown.

Matsumoto’s lifetime best in this 100m free event rests at the 48.52 he posted at the 2019 Japan Swim, the meet which represented the nation’s qualifier for Gwangju.

That roster berth led to Matsumoto cranking out a split of 47.95, the only sub-48 second contribution, on Japan’s men’s 4x100m free relay at those World Championships. The relay placed 9th and thereby qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Matsumoto produced additional 48-point 100m free efforts throughout 2019, including a 48.59 at the World Cup stop in Tokyo last August and a 48.97 outing at October’s stop in Budapest.

In 2020, the freestyle ace already put up a stellar 200m free time trial of 1:45.44 this past May. He had been fueling his fortitude with high-altitude training in Mexico from February to March before pumping out a time that would have beaten co-bronze medalists Duncan Scott of Great Britain and Martin Malyutin of Russia at last year’s World Championships.

Matsumoto is a member of Central Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Other members of the group under the tutelage of head coach Yoji Suzuki include Miho Teramura, Yui Yamane, and Kazuki Kohinata. His trio of teammates competed today as well, with Teramura taking the women’s 200m IM gold (2:14.25), Yamane winning the women’s 50m free (26.11) and Kohinata topping the men’s 200m breast (2:12.08).

In our exclusive interview with Matsumoto last month, he said he’ll be focusing on the 100m and 200m freestyle individual events for next year’s Japan Swim, the meet which represents the nation’s sole Olympic Games-qualifying opportunity.

Matsumoto will race his 200m free here in Chiba tomorrow.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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