Olympic Champion Kosuke Hagino To Make Earlier Return To Racing

The men’s 400m IM gold medalist in Rio, Japanese powerhouse Kosuke Hagino, will be returning to competition earlier than expected after having undergone post-Olympic elbow surgery.

Hagino underwent endoscopic surgery last September to remove the extra bone on his right elbow, which was broken in June of 2015 while the star was at a staging camp for the FINA World Championships. He was originally slated to make his recovery debut at the Japanese National Championships in April, but has since decided to make next month’s Campeonato Open Absoluto C. Madrid his comeback competition, testing out his elbow a month earlier than his nation’s World Championships qualifying meet.

Having resumed full-scale practice about 2 months ago, the 22-year-old says there seems to be a ‘dramatic difference’ in the condition of his elbow. While training at a camp in Spain, the Toyo University student old local reporters that his backstroke feels especially strong since undergoing surgery. Hagino already proved himself as the next great weapon in Japanese swimming, having scored 400m IM gold, 200m IM silver and another silver as part of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in Rio. He was a finalist in the individual 200m freestyle and has very effectively dabbled in the 200m backstroke event in the past.

The multiple Japanese national record holder will be graduating from Toyo University this Spring and transition into a full-time, professional swimmer, having earned his first sponsorship. As part of its ‘Chase Your Dream’ campaign and support of the overall Olympic Movement, Bridgestone Corporation has entered a 5-year partnership with Hagino.

Campeonato Open Absoluto C. Madrid is scheduled for March 10th – 12th and Hagino is expected to compete in 5 individual events, including both IM races. Teammate and fellow 2016 Olympic medalist Daiya Seto is also expected to compete in Madrid.

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Another Swim Nerd

Makes you wonder how things would have played out in Rio had he never been injured.


He would have gotten gold in the 400 IM and silver in the 200 IM

Another Swim Nerd

I’d agree he would have placed the same- I more meant the times he would have thrown down.


He was injured which makes his swims in Rio fantastic especially his 4:06:05 in rio.

He looked out of sorts in the 200im until the last 50.


Time to target the WR in the 400 and crack 1:54 in the 200


WR in 400im is simply impossible, even if (big if) he can stay on pace until 300 metres, MP (with super suit help) did the last 100 in 56.8.
This record will hold until a swimmer capable of 55 in the fly and 1.07 in the breast will appear – at least another 10 years.


Never count Hagino out. Incredibly efficient swimmer. His backstroke and freestyle are his strongest 2 strokes, yes. But his fly is going to be a 51 soon enough. At that point, anything is possible.


What I’m saying is that even if Hagino goes full to 300m mark and keep Phelps pace (55-1.02-1.10), without the supersuit help he can’t make the last 100 in 56.8. In Rio he made a 58.1 last 100 and he was one of the fastest in the pool…
I repeat, to beat MP’s 400im record you need a 55 low in the fly, and 1.02 low in back and at least a 1.07 mid in the breast so you can finish with a 58 low in free. Hagino simply isn’t a good enough breaststroker to beat Phelps’ record.

big calves

Phelps was not wearing a full body suit in the 400 im. Today’s jammers are just as quick as what he was wearing. He just had that split because he didn’t even have to try in fly to keep up and because he was Phelps in 2008. If he was pushed maybe he could’ve gone slightly quicker.


No, simply no. Any “plastic” 2008 supersuit is quicker than a actual jammer.
54.92 in the 100 fly isn’t trying? If anyone try to goes faster than 55 in the first 100 he will die in the last 100 and MP never went faster than 54.92 in the 400im: that is his best chrono.
IMO without the supersuit in 2008 MP wuold have made a time similar to Lochte’s London 4.05 low – a good improvement from Melburn – but not 4.03.84.

But… a) this is all hypotetical because MP race very few times the 400im (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2012) so we have really few data; b) This is not the point of my argument.


I agree about the the supersuits and Phelps time would have been around 4:05 in 2008 without the supersuit but I don’t think the supersuits helped everyone evenly. Also I think it may not have been of huge help in distance events. Look at the winning times at the distance events in 2009. The men,s 800 free was fast though. Men,s 1500 free. 14:37:28 Men,s 800 free 7:32:12 Women’s 1500 free 15:44:93 Women,s 800 free 8:15:92 The only mega fast time was zhang Lin,s WR of 7:32:12. Zhang Lin also swam the 1500 freestyle final and finished fifth with a 14:54:23. Also the last placed swimmer in the final of the 1500 freestyle Samuel pizzetti finished in a 15:19:28. So… Read more »

About Loretta Race

Loretta 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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