2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, February 4th – Sunday, February 7th
- Tokyo Aquatics Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entry List (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Finals
- Live Stream
The 2021 Japan Open rolled on with day 2 at the newly-constructed Tokyo Aquatics Centre, site of this summer’s Olympic aquatic action.
World Championships medalist Yui Ohashi got her meet started off right with a victory in her specialty 400m IM event. The 25-year-old punched a solid effort of 4:36.27 to get the job done, easily holding off runner-up Sakiko Shimizu. Shimizu represented the only other sub-4:40 swimmer, registering a silver medal-worthy result of 4:38.68.
Ohashi’s podium-topping performance here checks-in as her season-best, surpassing the 4:37.22 she posted at last month’s Kosuke Kitajima Cup. Ohashi now overtakes Shimizu’s own season-best of 4:36.77 from last December to become the #3 swimmer in the world in this event this season.
The men’s and women’s breaststroke specialists competed in the 50m sprint tonight, with Yoshiki Yamanaka and Reona Aoki claiming the top spots in their respective men’s and women’s races. Yamanaka stopped the clock in a mark of 27.40, while yesterday’s 100m breaststroke winner Aoki doubled up on gold with a time of 30.81.
Shogo Takeda took out the men’s 1500m field handily, getting to the wall first in a mark of 15:06.71. That outing slices .10 off of his previous season-quickest of 15:06.81, which was rendered at the Japan Swim last December. He remains ranked 9th in the world this season.
World Championships silver medalist Katsuo Matsumoto made a quiet statement in the men’s 200m free, capturing the gold in a time of 1:46.82. Opening in 51.67 and closing in 55.15, Matsumoto beat the next closest competitor by well over a second.
Snagging silver in the race was Naito Ehara who touched in 1:48.30 while Yuki Ikari also landed on the podium in 1:48.59 for bronze. Of note, 16-year-old Konosuke Yanagimoto placed 5th in the race, touching in 1:48.76.
Going back to Matsumoto, the 23-year-old already threw down a massive national record of 1:45.13 just a few weeks ago at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup. That checked in as a monster lifetime best and ranks the Japanese freestyle ace #1 in the world this season.
Chihiro Igarashi produced a nice 1:58.14 in the women’s 200m free to beat the field by well over a second. Taking 2nd place was Waka Kobori, the 20-year-old who won the 400m free last night in a big new lifetime best. Here in this 200m free, Kobori touched in 1:59.45 while Tomomi Aoki rounded out the top 3 in 1:59.46.
Kobori also raced the women’s 800m free earlier today, clinching the top seed there of 8:39.86.
Olympian Ryosuke Irie was also in the water tonight, taking on the 100m backstroke event. Irie grabbed gold in 53.29, just a hair off his season-best of 53.04 logged last month. Not too shabby for the icon who turned 31 years of age last month.
The women’s version of the 1back saw Natsumi Sakai limbo under the minute barrier, checking in with a gold medal-worthy effort of 59.98. Splitting 28.78/31.20, Sakai was within striking distance of the 59.54 she produced last month which situates her as the 6th fastest performer this season.