2019 TOKYO OPEN
- Thursday, November 21st – Sunday, November 24th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo, Japan
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap/Day 3 Recap
- Results (in Japanese)
The 2019 Tokyo Open produced some head-turning results, with the likes of visiting swimmer Kristof Milak of Hungary in the Tatsumi International Swimming Center waters, along with domestic mainstays Daiya Seto, Kosuke Hagino, Rio Shirai and Yui Ohashi.
For Milak’s part, the 19-year-old reigning 200m fly World Record holder collected a foursome of wins, snagging the men’s 100m fly victory in 52.10, the 200m fly in a monster 1:53.75, the 200m free in 1:48.29 and the 400m free in a mark of 3:50.55. You a read about the Hungarian teen’s victories in the days’ recap linked above.
As for two-time World Champion Seto, the 25-year-old new dad busted out a solid 4:10.04 in the 400m IM last night after snagging silver behind Milak in the 200m fly with a mark of 1:54.36.
However, the man who is set to do major damage at the 2020 Olympic Games next summer produced groundbreaking performances across his 2 other events here in Tokyo, the 200m breast and 200m IM. In the former final, Seto produced the fastest time of his career by 2 seconds, logging a time of 2:08.98 to take silver behind former World Record holder Ippei Watanabe. You can read more about that swim in the day 1 recap linked above.
During tonight’s final session, Seto unleashed another new personal best in the 2IM, crushing a performance of 1:55.98. Comprised of splits of 24.89/54.01/1:27.26/1:55.98, Seto’s gold medal-worthy performance tonight represents the Olympic medalist’s first time ever under the 1:56 threshold. His previous lifetime best was represented by the 1:56.14 logged for gold at this year’s World Championships.
Olympian Hagino owns the Japanese national record in a time of 1:55.07 and tonight finished behind Seto in a mark of 1:59.35, a respectable outing as the 400m IM Olympic gold medalist is still coming back to form after a more than 5-month hiatus. Watanabe rounded out tonight’s top 3 in 2:00.67.
Going back to Seto, his 1:55.98 outing would have taken Olympic silver behind American icon Michael Phelps in Rio. The time also makes Seto the 11th fastest performer all-time in this men’s 200m IM event.
It’s helpful to remember that Seto’s gold medal wins in the 200m IM and 400m IM in Gwangju automatically qualified him to race those events at his home nation-hosted Olympic Games next year. As such, he may be swimming with the extra confidence knowing he has less pressure at least in these IM events and can simply focus on honing his craft for the next several months, as evidenced by his standup racing.
Ohashi also secured a win on the final night of competition, taking the women’s edition of the 200m IM in a time of 2:08.43. That paired with her 400m IM victory from last night in a time of 4:34.18 and her 100m fly gold earlier in the meet.
For perspective, Ohashi took 400m IM bronze at this year’s World Championships in a time of 4:32.33, but last night’ 4:34.18 outing would have garnered her 4th place. Additionally, Ohashi was disqualified in the 200m IM final in Gwangju, but her 2:08.43 logging this evening would have been good enough for silver behind winner Katinka Hosszu of Hungary.
Additional winners on the final night here in Tokyo included Shinri Shioura adding a 50m free win in 22.03 to pair with his 100m free victory. Rio Shirai also took the women’s 50m back in 28.99, while Yuki Hirayama nabbed 50m fly gold in 26.45.
Suzuka Hasegawa put up a strong 2:08.03 200m fly swim to stand atop an Ohashi-less finals’ podium. Hasegawa split 1:01.40/1:06.13 to produced a mark that would have placed 7th in the World Championships final this year. In Gwangju, Hasegawa was rendered the 10th place finisher (2:09.22).