Ryosuke Irie Earns 12th 200 Back National Title En Route To Gwangju


The penultimate night of the 2019 Japan Swimming Championships saw additions to the roster for Gwangju, but several key swimmers will still need to perform next month at the Japan Swim to make their World Championships dreams come true.

16-year-old Miyu Numba doubled up on her surprising 400m free win from night 1 here in Tokyo with another victory to close out her meet. Numba took the women’s 800m free tonight in 8:30.62, holding almost a 2 second advantage over the next closest competitor in Waka Kobori.

Kobori finished in 8:32.57, but both women needed a QT of 8:25.22 to make it onto the World Championships roster.

The women’s 200m breast suffered the same fate, with winner Kanako Watanabe putting up a near-season best, but falling short of the QT.

Tonight Watanabe registered a winning time of 2:24.28 for gold, just .10 over her time of 2:24.18 clocked last September that remains 6th in the world. But, she needed a 2:23.33 tonight to make it to Gwangju.

Yukuna Hirayama notched 26.02 to top the women’s 50m fly podium, but she fell shy of the 25.77 time needed for Worlds.

One person who did make the grade was racing mainstay Ryosuke Irie, who remarkably captured his 12th national title in the men’s 200m backstroke. The 29-year-old Olympian rocked a time of 1:55.79 to clear the 1:56.27 Worlds QT, beat his previous season-best of 1:56.78 and check-in as the #2 swimmer in the world this season.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 200 BACK

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Behind Irie was Keita Sunama, who earned silver in 1:56.06, also dipping under the required QT. This is a new personal best for Sunama by just bout a second.

In the men’s 50m free semi, Shinri Shioura produced perhaps the best swim of his career in the men’s 50m freestyle, establishing a new Japanese and Asian record in 21.67. You can read more about his groundbreaking swim here.

Ippei Watanabe also made waves, logging the 4th fastest 200m breast time ever with his 2:07.02 victory to make it to Gwangju. Details on his historic performance can be found here.

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Second on the men’s 200 breast was Kazuki Kohinata in 2:08.57. That also passes the QT of 2:08.93.


21.67 for Shioura !!! Wow , they are getting so good at the sprint free nowadays in Japan . so happy for him . Irie : what a longevity !!!

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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