Now that Japan’s Selection Meet for the 2018 Short Course World Championships is done and dusted, the nation’s swimming federation has announced a 37-strong roster for Hangzhou. Composed of 18 males and 19 females, the squad will be coached by Takayuki Umehara, the Head Coach for this year’s Pan Pacs team.
Notable names missing from the roster include Rikako Ikee, the dynamo who became the first female Asian Games MVP in history. The teen is focusing on 2019 and will not be racing, as is the case for IM aces Kosuke Hagino and Yui Ohashi.
Sprint maestro Shinri Shioura made it known earlier this season he would be sitting out due to a string of tonsil-related illnesses.
However, the line-up has plenty of fire power, including Olympic medalists Daiya Seto and Ryosuke Irie, Pan Pacs champion and newly-minted short course national record holder Yasuhiro Koseki is ready to rumble, as well are key females Suzuka Hasegawa and Kanako Watanabe.
At the 2016 edition of the Short Course World Championships, Japan finished 8th overall in the medal standings, collecting 2 gold, 2 silver and 11 bronze medals for a total of 15 in all. The individual golds were won by Seto in the 400m IM, as well as Junya Koga in the 50m backstroke.
As we just reported, Koga has been handed a 4-year suspension for having tested positive for a prohibited substance.