2022 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 21st – Sunday, January 23rd
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- LCM (50m)
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap
The 2022 Kosuke Kitajima Cup concluded from Tokyo today but not before 21-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee collected another gold medal.
After reaping 200m free silver on night 1 and 100m free yesterday, Ikee produced a mark of 25.20 to take the women’s 50m freestyle this evening. Ikee was 24.84 at last year’s Japanese Olympic Trials, so she was less than half a second away from her personal best among those performances logged since her return to competition in late 2020.
Yui Ohashi also found her way onto the top of a podium, clearing the women’s 200m IM field by over a second. Two-time Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo Ohashi produced a mark of 2:10.65 to take the race and kick off her new year under a new coach. As we reported, Ohashi now trains alongside Ryosuke Irie under Masako Ishimatsu.
On the men’s side, Naoki Mizunuma clocked a new meet record in the 100m fly, registering a gold medal-worthy time of 51.25. That held off freestyle ace Katsuo Matsumoto, who dabbles in this event as well, hitting 51.86 for silver. Tomoru Honda, the winner of both the 200m fly and 400m IM already here, rounded out the top 3 in 52.18.
Mizunuma is Japan’s 3rd fastest performer ever, owning a lifetime best of 51.03 from last year’s Olympic Trials. He ultimately finished 10th at the home-based Olympic Games, producing a time of 51.46 in Tokyo. As such, Mizunuma is starting his 2022 off right with tonight’s effort falling just .22 outside of that outing while also checking in as Japan’s 10th fastest performance all-time.
Finally, Olympian Shoma Sato did his thing in the men’s 200m breast, logging a time of 2:08.80 for gold this evening.
Heading into the Olympics as a viable medal contender in this event, Sato missed the final altogether, mustering just a 2:09.04 after being sub-2:07 leading up to the Games. Post-Tokyo Sato revealed he had been dealing with a hernia during the Games.