Hundredth-by-hundredth, rising sprint star Miki Uchida is taking down the women’s 50m freestyle Japanese National Record. Today in Tokyo at the World Cup, Uchida shaved another .01 of a second off of the current national record she holds, bringing the old mark of 24.96 down to 24.95.
The 24.96 was the time Uchida set just this past September at the Japanese Intercollegiate Championships, which, too, dropped just a hundredth off of the previous mark of 24.97 she set earlier this year at the Japan Swim in April. Although Uchida’s 24.95 outing is still well behind the rest of the world in terms of overall rankings, whereby the top-tier of women’s sprinters are in the 24-low range, on a larger scale it does show promise in this area for the nation of Japan.
Uchida is just another example of the continued rise of sprinters in Japan, an area in which the country has traditionally been on the weaker end of the spectrum. However, within just the past few years, the women’s 50m freestyle national record has been defeated multiple times, as has the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle marks.
Remarkably, the Asian record still stands at a fierce 24.51, a time registered by China’s Le Jingyi back in 1994.
Earlier in the same session of the Tokyo stop of the World Cup, Japanese teammate Rikako Ikee broke the Japanese National Record in the 100m butterfly.