2018 TOKYO METROPOLITAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Saturday, July 7th & Sunday, July 8th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- Results (in Japanese)
Historically, the annual Tokyo Metropolitan Championships have seen some stellar performances put up by Japan’s key players. This year, the elite racers were divided between this meet and the French Open in Chartres, while still others sat out both to keep an eye on the Pan Pacific Championships prize.
Here in Tokyo, 18-year-old Rikako Ikee tore up the women’s 200m IM, clocking the 2nd fastest time of her young career. She holds the World Junior Record in the event with the 2:09.98 produced at this same meet in 2017 and the teen was just .08 shy of that mark with a winning time of 2:10.06. Her outing now situates the Olympic finalist as #6 in the world.
Ikee also threw down a super solid 200m freestyle mark of 1:56.40 to take that event as well. She’s already been as fast as 1:55.04 back in February, but keeping her 200m in the 1:55-1:56 zone not fully rested bodes well for both Ikee’s individual prospects, as well as a possible 4x200m medal run on Japan’s home turf at this summer’s Pan Pacs.
Ikee opted out of the women’s sprint fly and free events, which left Ai Souma to win the 100m fly. Souma won the race in 58.80, within range of her season best of 58.03. The 21-year-old will be contesting the event at the Pan Pac Championships.
Sachi Mochida flew by the competition in the 200m fly race, touching in 2:08.77 for the win over Suzuka Hasegawa, Hasegawa, the 2017 World Junior Champion in this event, finished in 2:09.87. Both women have been quicker so far this season, with Mochida holding the 16th fastest time in the world (2:08.33), while Hasegawa is positioned in the 9th slot in 2:07.79.
The women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke saw Kanako Watanabe step up for a pair of medals. The veteran racer stopped the clock in 2:24.58 to win the longer race, while a time of 1:07.48 got the job done in the sprint.
The men’s races were a little on the quieter side, although Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai made a few appearances. Among them was his 1:55.47 win in the men’s 200m fly, the event in which he specializes, but was unable to qualify for the Pan Pacs. Runner-up Yuya Yajima finished about a half second later in the race in 1:56.05, while new Dad Daiya Seto was 3rd in 1:57.77.
The roles were reversed in the 100m fly event, where Yajima soared to the wall first in 52.99, while Sakai settled for silver in 53.10. For Seto’s part, the Olympic bronze medalist raced his way to a win in the 200m freestyle, notching a gold medal-garnering effort of 1:48.70.