2020 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 24th – Sunday, January 26th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- 50m (LCM)
- Meet Information
- SwimSwam Preview
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).