Matsumoto Impresses With 1:46.6 200 Free At Domestic Meet


  • Saturday, August 8th & Sunday, August 9th
  • Chiba International Swimming Center, Narashino, Chiba, Japan
  • 50m (LCM)
  • Timed Finals
  • Day 1 Recap
  • Results (in Japanese)

World Championships silver medalist in the 200m freestyle, Katsuhiro Matsumoto, continued to impress here at this Chiba Prefectural Meet in his native Japan.

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.

On day 1, the Yoji Suzukitrained Matsumoto posted a solid winning effort of 48.94 in the men’s 100m freestyle. His time represented the only outing under 51 seconds of the field and falls in line with the pre-coronavirus-pandemic results he posted of 48.59 at the World Cup stop in Tokyo last August and a 48.97 outing at October’s stop in Budapest.

Moving on today in Chiba, the man competed in his specialty event, the 200m freestyle. Entering this two-day meet, Matsumoto’s most recent performance was represented by the stellar 1:45.44 time trial his posted this past May. That outing was just .22 outside of his own national record time of 1:45.22 he registered for silver in Gwangju at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

Flash forward to today and Matsumoto didn’t miss a beat, hitting a time of 1:46.69 to beat the men’s 200m free field by nearly 4 solid seconds. Splits for Matsumoto’s time included 52.41/54.28 to reach the wall first and snag the meet title in a time that would have placed 15th in Gwangju.

His time also dips under the FINA ‘A’ cut for the 2020 Olympic Games, which stands at 1:47.02, although this is not a FINA-sanctioned Olympic qualifying event. Also, Japanese Olympic selection procedures dictate only next April’s Japan Swim as the sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity for its nation’s swimmers.

Matsumoto’s 1:46.69 from tonight checks-in as the 6th fastest performance of 2020, making him the 4th fastest performer of this calendar year.

Men’s 200 Freestyle Top Performances of 2020

1 01:45.55 SUN Yang CHN FINA Champions Swim Series 2020 CHN
18 Jan 2020
2 01:45.74 RAPSYS Danas LTU FINA Champions Swim Series 2020 CHN
18 Jan 2020
3 01:46.03 DEAN Tom GBR Edinburgh International Swim Meet GBR
13 Mar 2020
4 01:46.50 RAPSYS Danas LTU FINA Champions Swim Series 2020 CHN
14 Jan 2020
5 01:46.53 SUN Yang CHN FINA Champions Swim Series 2020 CHN
14 Jan 2020
6 1:46.69 MATSUMOTO Katsuhiro JPN Chiba Prefectural JPN
9 Aug 2020

Additional Notes:

  • Akira Hirai topped the men’s 1500m free podium here in Chiba, hitting a time of 15:19.41.
  • Watanabe’s teammate Kazuki Kohinata doubled up on his 200m breast win from day 1 with the 100m victory today in 1:01.51.
  • Yui Yamane, who also trains with Watanabe, added the 100m free victory to her day 1 50m free gold, touching the wall in 56.16.

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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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