Ryosuke Irie Delivers World-Leading 52.59 100 Back On 30th Birthday

Retta Race
by Retta Race 25

January 24th, 2020 News


The 2020 Kosuke Kitajima Cup represents a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Japanese swimming, with the likes of Daiya Seto, Kosuke Hagino and Yui Ohashi among the competitors taking on the 3-day meet.

Also among the elite is Ryosuke Irie, the ever-consistent backstroker who maintains his relevance in the highest level of international swimming with performances like the one he threw down today in Tokyo.

After establishing himself as the top-seeded swimmer in the men’s 100m backstroke, clocking a new meet record time of 53.12, the birthday boy who turned 30 years of age today busted out the fastest swim globally this season, hitting the wall in a mark of 52.59.

Beautifully splitting 25.70/26.89, Irie’s time of 52.59 got his hand on the wall more than a second ahead of runner-up Masaki Kaneko, who secured silver in 54.33.

Irie’s time tonight overtakes his own world rankings leader of 52.97, also held by China’s Xu Jiayu, from when the men tied for the gold at the FINA Champions Series in Beijing last week.  With his outing here, Irie slashed .38 off that mark to sit atop the rankings throne and stake his claim on the event 6 months out from a home nation-hosted Olympic Games.

Top 5 Men’s 100m Back Performers Since September 2019

Rank       Time     Name                                 Team       Date
1              52.59 Irie, Ryosuke                JPN         01/24/2020
2              52.97  Xu, Jiayu                              CHN        01/18/2020
3              53.14 Casas, Shaine                        USA         11/22/2019
4              53.54 Grevers, Matt                       USA         01/14/2020
5              53.76 Tarasevich, Grigory            RUS         11/03/2019

The man who turned 30 years of age today holds a personal best and Japanese national record of 52.24 logged at the 2009 Australian Championships. He more recently turned in a time of 52.53 to take the 2018 Asian Games silver behind the aforementioned Xu.

If Irie had produced this same in-season mark of 52.59 in Gwangju last year, he would have grabbed the silver, with his time sitting behind gold medalist Xu (52.43), but ahead of Russian Evgeny Rylov‘s 52.67. Instead in Korea, Irie musted juts a 53.22 for 6th place.

Irie took Olympic silver in the 200m backstroke and bronze in the 100m backstroke at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In Rio, the man placed 7th in the 100m back (53.42) and 8th in the 200m back (1:56.36).

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Sun Yangs Hammer
8 months ago

The Japanese men are firing on all cylinders headed into this summer.

Philip Johnson
8 months ago

How fitting would it be for Irie to win gold this summer.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 months ago

Not gonna happen

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  AuggieBuschFan
8 months ago


Mr Piano
Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
8 months ago

Never underestimate the power of a home Olympic Games.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  AuggieBuschFan
8 months ago

Competition is tough, but he has a shot.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 months ago

Gunna take a PB

Dave Burleigh
Reply to  CACrushers
8 months ago

Gunna take a world record.

Reply to  Dave Burleigh
8 months ago

you guys forgot the ft. before gunna

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  CACrushers
8 months ago

Not swimming for Marsh should help.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  CACrushers
8 months ago

Big time!

Lane line
8 months ago

Pocket rocket

About Retta Race

Retta 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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