2021 Japan Open: Sato Tops Watanabe In 100 Breaststroke Battle

2021 JAPAN OPEN

The 2021 Japan Open kicked off today with solid swimming from some of the nation’s brightest Olympic hopefuls.

In addition to the battle between Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto in the men’s 400m IM, of which you can read more about here, there were two age records that bit the dust as well. The women’s 400m free winner, Waka Kobori, took down the youth record en route to victory in 4:07.24, while the men’s 50m fly saw Yuya Tanaka take down the age record there in 23.35. Look for separate posts on those remarkable swims.

The other races tonight in Tokyo were just as fiery, with 19-year-old Shoma Sato taking on former 200m breast world record holder Ippei Watanabe. Contesting the 100m breaststroke sprint, Sato earned the edge, getting to the wall first in a time of 59.67. Watanabe was just a fingernail behind, registering 59.75 for silver.

The race was a heated dual from the get-go, with Watanabe splitting 28.29 at the halfway point to Sato’s 28.34. Both men brought it home strong to represents the only swimmers under a minute in tonight’s race.

Sato has already been as fast as 59.55 this season, although that performance took place last October. For Watanabe, he entered the world rankings in this men’s 100m breast with his performance tonight, taking on slot #10. Look for this same type of match-up later in the meet in the 200m breaststroke.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Breast

2Adam
Peaty
GBR58.5203/12
3Arno
Kamminga
NED58.6912/05
4Yan
Zibei
CHN58.7309/28
5Anton
Chupkov
RUS58.8310/26
6Fabian
Schwingenschloegl
GER58.9504/03
7James
Wilby
GBR59.3103/12
8Qin
Haiyang
CHN59.5103/05
9Shoma
Sato
JPN59.5510/02
10Caspar
Corbeau
NED59.5612/05
View Top 27»

The women’s edition of the 100m breast saw Reona Aoki get it done for gold in the only sub-1:07 result. Posting a time of 1:06.98, Aoki nearly matched the 1:06.94 she raced just last month at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup.

National record holder Katsumi Nakamura raced his way to men’s 100m free gold tonight in a solid outing of 48.53. Splitting 23.52/25.01, Nakamura sneaked into the wall just .10 ahead of the 2019 World Championships silver medalist in the 200 free, Katsuo Matsumoto. Matsumoto touched tonight in 48.63 to pair with Nakamura as the only swimmers to get under the 49-second threshold.

Matsumoto’s season-best is just a hair quicker than his effort tonight, with the man having posted a time of 48.58 at last month’s Kosuke Kitajima Cup. That rendered him as the 9th fastest swimmer entering tonight’s final.

Nakamura’s 48.53 gold medal-worthy swim now checks the 26-year-old as the 8th fastest performer in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Free

2Kristof
Milak
HUN48.0003/26
3Nandor
Nemeth
HUN48.0812/10
4Alessandro
Miressi
ITA48.2212/18
5Hwang
Sun Woo
KOR48.2511/18
6Vladislav
Grinev
RUS48.3310/29
7Katsumi
Nakamura
JPN48.3403/05
8Khurshidjon
Tursunov
UZB48.3611/25
9Sergii
Shevtsov
UKR48.4303/07
10Yu
Hexin
CHN48.4409/29
View Top 26»

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Crk
2 months ago

The 1br is suprisingly competitive so far, given that peaty hasnt swam yet. Still might get interesting as far as the bronze and silver medals at the Olympics. I feel like sato, watanabe, and chupkov will all be focused on the 200 though

Khachaturian
Reply to  Crk
2 months ago

Peaty is gonna come in and drop an easy 57 high lol

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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