2021 TOKYO SENIOR SPRING MEET
- Thursday, February 4th & Friday, February 5th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Day 1 Recap
For 26-year-old Hagino, the man who put up a speedy mark of 1:55.84 for silver in last night’s 200m back looked mighty strong in the men’s 2IM tonight. In a league of his own, Hagino produced the only sub-2:00 swim of the field, registering a time of 1:57.68 for the win.
That time falls just .01 outside of the 1:57.67 Hagino logged in December, rendering the 400m IM Olympic champion as the 4th fastest performer in the world this season.
The winner of the aforementioned 200m back, Ryosuke Irie, doubled up with a solid victory in the 100m sprint this evening. Opening in 25.90 and closing in 27.20, 31-year-old Irie punched a result of 53.10 to impressively beat the field by nearly a second.
Hagino was indeed among the remaining racers, settling for bronze in 54.70 while Masaki Kaneko split the two with silver in 54.04. For Irie, the Japanese Olympic icon already owns a season-best 2back time of 53.04, which slots him as the 4th fastest man in the world this season.
The women’s 100m back saw Rio Shirai get it done for gold in 1:00.73, while she also snagged the top prize in the 10om free. Getting to the wall in a time of 54.81, Shirai beat yesterday’s two-time gold medalist Chihiro Igarashi by just a fingernail. Igarashi touched in 54.85 to represent the only other swimmer under the 55-second threshold in the race.
Making waves once again in the men’s 200m breast event was 20-year-old Shoma Sato. At this non-championship meet, Sato posted a winning effort of 2:07.81, a time that would have placed 6th at the 2019 FINA World Championships.
Sato already sits atop the world rankings, wearing the crown with a huge lifetime best of 2:06.78 from last month’s Japan Open. You can read more about that history-making swim here.
Finally, in the men’s 200m fly, Yuki Kobori made a strong statement with his gold medal-grabbing 1:55.55. With a front half of 54.75, Kobori brought it home in 1:00.08 to collect his win, beating runner-up Takumi Terada by nearly a second. Terada touched in 1:56.41 for silver.
Terada owns a season-best of 1:56.11, while Kobori’s effort this evening is his quickest of the season, now bumping him up to become the 4th fastest swimmer in the world so far.
With the nation’s Olympic Trials meet of the Japan Swim coming up in April, the 200m fly roster spots for a home-based Games look to be a fierce fight to the wall, with even short course world record holder Seto not a shoe-in.
Right now, Japanese men comprise 5 of the top 10 performer slots in the season’s world rankings.
Another swimmer who made moves into the world rankings tonight was Katsumi Nakamura. The national record holder registered a winning 100m free time of 48.34, his fastest of the season. The man who became Japan’s first-ever sub-48 second 100m freestyler beat his domestic rival Shinri Shioura handily tonight, with Shioura snagging silver in 49.15.
As for Nakamura, his 48.34 (23.26/25.08) inserts him on the list of top performers this season in slot #6.
- Kanako Watanabe got on the board with a 200m breaststroke victory for the women, edging out Asaba Shiori by just .13. The former took gold in 2:24.82 to the latter’s 1:09.53 tonight
- The women’s 200 fly saw Suzuka Hasegawa top the field in 2:09.19, although Mizuguchi Chiho was right behind in 2:09.66 as the only other sub-2:10 swimmer. Hasegawa’s earlier season-best of 2:07.82 keeps her ranked 5th in the world this season.