2019 KIRARA CUP
- Saturday, February 9th & Sunday, February 10th
- Kirara Expo Park, Yamaguchi, Japan
The 2019 Kirara Cup in Yamaguchi, Japan cranked out some impressive performances, especially for this early on in the season. With the nation’s World Championships Trials not until April, Japan’s best, including sprinter Katsumi Nakamura, World Record holder Ippei Watanabe and recent world rankings shaker-upper Rika Omoto produced several head-turning performances to begin the 2019 calendar year.
For her part, 21-year-old Omoto made waves across multiple events in Yamaguchi this weekend, including the women’s 100m freestyle. Omoto had already been making her presence known this year with some dominant efforts at the 2019 South Australian State Open LC Championships.
In Adelaide, Omoto fired off the 3rd fastest 50m freestyle time ever by a Japanese woman in 24.98. She also notched a super solid time of 54.71 in the 100m freestyle to become the 7th fastest Japanese female ever in the event.
However, this weekend Omoto took her 100m free to an entirely new level, busting out a new personal best of 54.26. Although well off country woman Rikako Ikee’s world-leading 52.79 from last November, the strides Omoto is making in this event are keeping the relay-worthy dynamo on the right trajectory with Tokyo in sight.
Her 54.26 mark now sits within the top 10 times in the world this season, but also now ranks Omoto as the 4th fastest Japanese swimmer ever in the event.
|#1 – 52.79||Rikako Ikee||JPN||11/2018||Tokyo|
|#2 – 53.88||Miki Uchida||JPN||4/4/2016||Tokyo|
|#3 – 54.00||Haruka Ueda||JPN||2012 Japan National Championships||4/2/2012||Tokyo|
|#4 – 54.26||Rika Omoto||JPN||2019 Kirara Cup||02/10/19||Yamaguchi|
Omoto went on to also take the 50m free at the Kirar Cup in a solid 25.28, while she also notched the 200m IM victory in 2:10.70. She has a season-best of 2:09.93 in that event already, a mark that stands as #2 in the world behind Japanese teammate Yui Ohashi’s 2:09.14.