2022 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 21st – Sunday, January 23rd
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- LCM (50m)
A big-time swim was thrown down tonight in Tokyo, as reigning Olympic silver medalist Tomoru Honda took on his pet event of the men’s 200m butterfly.
Racing on day 1 of the 2022 Kosuke Kitajima Cup at Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, 20-year-old Honda busted out a time of 1:53.87 to handily beat the field en route to nearly matching his runner-up result from this year’s Games.
Splitting 54.63/59.24 this evening for a new meet record, Honda got to the wall a full 2 seconds ahead of runner-up Takumi Terada, who clocked a mark of 1:55.87 for a solid outing in itself for his first race of the new year.
Looking back at Honda’s Olympic appearance, the Shigeki Kayahara-trained athlete registered a time of 1:53.73 to snag silver behind winner and world record holder Kristof Milak of Hungary, earning Japan’s sole medal on the men’s side. That performance checked in as a lifetime best, which means Honda’s result here rests just under .20 off of that medal-grabbing outing.
Honda’s 1:53.73 was comprised of splits of 54.43/59.30, nearly identical to what his race strategy was this evening.
Although Honda has a stretch to go to enter Milak’s 1:50/1:51 territory, the fact that the Japanese ace is already this quick this early in the year is promising for the summer’s international swimming schedule.
Additional Notable Swims:
- 31-year-old Olympian Ryosuke Irie topped the men’s 100m backstroke podium, clearing the field by over one and half seconds. Irie touched in 53.08 for his first gold here.
- The men’s 100m breast saw Olympian Shoma Sato snag gold in 1:00.09 while Miyu Namba scored a new meet recording the women’s 800m free with a winning effort of 8:33.89.
- The women’s 200m free saw the race come down to the finish, as Rio Shirai, Rikako Ikee and Waka Kobori were all separated by less than half a second. Shirai got the victory in 1:58.49 while Ikee hit 1:58.77 for silver and Kobori registered 1:58.81 for bronze.