2019 JAPANESE STUDENT SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, September 6th – Sunday, September 8th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- Start Lists/Results (in Japanese)
18-year old Japanese breaststroker Shoma Sato has swum faster than the World Junior Record in the 200 meter breaststroke at the Japanese Student Swimming Championships. Racing in the final, he placed 1st in 2:09.21, which is better than the 2:09.39 that FINA officially recognizes as the World Junior Record. That time was done by China’s Qin Haiyang at the 2017 World Championships.
The men’s 200 breaststroke has become a microcosm of why FINA’s official World Junior Records have lost some curb appeal since they were first recognized in 2014. Qin was faster than his 2:09.39 at least twice in 2017, when he was still eligible for World Junior Records, including a 2:08.71 at the Chinese Championships and a 1:07.35 at the Chinese National Games. Neither of those times were recognized, however, when the slower time from the World Championships was.
The fastest-ever 200 meter breaststroke in long course, meanwhile, by an age-eligible swimmer was the 2:07.01 done by Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012. At the time, Yamaguchi’s swim was a World Record, but FINA did not recognize World Junior Record-worthy times from prior to 2014.
All of this to reiterate: Sato’s swim is a World Junior Record, pending ratification by FINA.
The 18-year old Sato’s previous best time was a 2:09.42 from the Japan Open earlier this year. He also swam 2:09.56 at the World Junior Championships in August. That earned him a silver medal.