2022 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, December 1st – Sunday, December 4th
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entries (in Japanese)
- Start Lists/Results
The 2022 Japan Open began today from Tokyo with the men’s 400m IM taking center stage.
Olympians Daiya Seto and Tomoru Honda dueled all the way to the wall in the neck-and-neck battle, with 28-year-old Seto ultimately winding up on top. Seto touched in 4:10.14 to Honda’s 4:10.93 with So Ogata rounding out the top 3 in 4:12.24.
The pair of Seto and Honda played it cool in the morning heats, with the latter capturing the #2 seed in a time of 4:13.41. Seto landed in the 5th slot in 4:17.37. Come tonight’s final, however, the duo turned it on to make it a 2-man contest.
Honda unleashed an opening 100m of 54.76 to lead Seto by over a second after the fly leg. Seto continued to trail until breaststroke where the versatile ace outsplit Honda 1:09.41 to 1:11.59. Seto held on to the end and snagged gold by just under a second.
This is Seto’s 2nd consecutive national title in this men’s 400m IM, as he also topped the podium at the Japanese Short Course Championships this past October in a time of 4:00.70. Honda did not race the event at that competition.
Seto and Honda now easily check in as the top 2 long course swimmers in the world rankings on the season.
Of note, Seto has won the men’s 400m IM event at the past five editions of the FINA Short Course World Championships, meaning he’ll be gunning for title #6 in Melbourne this month.
Also making some noise tonight was Takeshi Kawamoto. Taking on the men’s 50m butterfly, 27-year-old Kawamoto clocked a time of 23.26. That result sits just .09 outside of his own national record of 23.17, a time he produced in April of 2021.
Kawamoto now wears the world rankings crown, becoming the first swimmer to delve into sub-24 second territory in the men’s 50m fly this season.
Katsuhiro Matsumoto was in the water as well, earning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. Matsumoto posted the only sub-49 second time of the field, winning the event in 48.77. That held a healthy advantage over runner-up and national record holder Katsumi Nakamura, with Nakamura securing silver in 49.30.
Reona Aoki made it happen in the women’s 100m breast, winning the top prize in a time of 1:06.11. Although that’s well off her own personal best of 1:05.19 from this past spring, it was enough to beat tonight’s field by nearly one second.
Aoki now sits atop the world rankings in this women’s 100m breast event, overtaking previous leader Macarena Ceballos‘ (ARG) time of 1:06.71.
- Miyu Namba and Waka Kobori were the only swimmers to get under the 4:10 threshold in the women’s 400m freestyle. Namba topped the podium in 4:08.65 while Kobori settled for silver in 4:09.34.
- The women’s 50m fly saw Ai Soma get to the wall first in a time of 25.94. That’s within striking distance of her lifetime best of 25.76 she produced this past March.
- Just one man clocked a sub-minute 100m breast with Yu Hanaguruma getting it done for gold in 59.91. Behind him was Olympian Ryuya Mura who touched in 1:00.08. Of note, Ippei Watanabe finished 4th in 1:00.58 while Shoma Sato was well back in 6th place in a time of 1:00.69 this evening.