Shoma Sato Swims Under FINA World Junior Record* Time in 200 Breaststroke


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.

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Meanwhile, the real WJR in the men’s 400 free is 3:40.59 🙄

Bo Swims

Which was done at the Olympics and met all WR certification criteria SMH.


FINA must specialize in stupid decisions. If they can’t honor times at least within the last 20 years why waste the paperwork on announcing/documenting non-records.

bear drinks beer

They can’t even honor times within the last 2 years, see Milak 200 fly & Qin 200 breast here.


Remember when Peaty first really broke out with his 50 breast record in 2014? Never ratified. LEN never bothered to fill out the proper paperwork. I say this because LEN and FINA have alot or organizational overlap to the point that they’re basically one in the same. These guys are completely incompetent…


Agree, but why were the records not ratified, what was missing, the doping control, someone doing paperwork, procedures by the officials. There must be a reason and it would be interesting to know why.
On the other hand, when USA-Swimming added new events as NAG records in 2000 they did not go back in time to add the fastest times that were on record, FINA went back about a year or so. Regardless, I think that the fastest times done that fulfill the requirements should be the record, especially if it was a Sr World record at one point.


If they do not ratify this result by the US olympic trials next summer, they should not bother at all. Matheny will obliterate it at the trials.


Bro someone else can come up by then


There is 200br world junior finals on YouTube. Matheny’s turns were awefull. With better turns he is right now low 2:08 and he is only 16. There is no other junior under 18 (so no one who will be an eligible junior next year too) who has been under 2:11 this year.

It is always possible that someone improves 3+ or 4+ seconds in a year and takes over that Jr WR, but it is highly unlikely at that level. Meanwhile, Matheny will try to make Olympics and will swim his hart out against top opponents at the trials where (it seems that) at least 2.09 will be needed just to qualify for the finals.

Just my 2 cents…


I mean, Matheny did what you said was “unlikely”, this summer. it’s always good for the sport for fresh competition to arrive


Yeah and Andrew should be a world beater by now … You obviously started following swimming just this year, there is no other explanation why someone would write such nonsense, unless … he/she is trying to troll? At first i thought that maybe you are a relative of Matheny, but noone who is close to him would write things like that, knowing that this would only raise expectations that he can never fulfill. There have been tons and tons of juniors who stopped progressing for one reason or another when everyone thought that they would achieve great things in the future. Some examples: – Ivan Girev swam a junior world record of 1:46.40 in the 200 free in 2017, one… Read more »

bear drinks beer

I’m pretty sure Martinenghi and Kolesnikov had some health issues. It’s only 1-2 years since they broke WJRs. It’s too early to make judgment.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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