So Ogata Tops Tomoru Honda To Kick Off Japan Inter-College Championships


The 2023 Japanese Intercollegiate Swimming Championships began this week with the nation’s top universities vying for the overall team trophy and bragging rights as the top swimming school.

Right off the bat, So Ogata made his presence known in the men’s 400m IM, taking the event over the 2022 champion Tomoru Honda. Ogata hit a time of 4:12.50 to beat out Honda by just .08.

Honda, the men’s 200m butterfly bronze medalist at this year’s World Championships, clocked 4:12.58 while Ei Kamikawabata hit 4:14.36 as the bronze medalist.

Kamikawabata took bronze in this men’s 400m IM event at this year’s World University Games, posting a time of 4:17.87 in China. He owns a personal best of 4:13.21 from the 2023 World Championships Trials.

The women’s 100m free was highlighted by Nagisa Ikemoto, with the 21-year-old Olympian producing a winning mark of 54.11.

Splitting 26.35/27.76, Ikemoto logged the swiftest time of her career, overtaking her previous career-quickest time of 54.31 from April of this year. Ikemoto now represents Japan’s 5th-fastest female in history in this event.

Japanese Women’s 5 Fastest Performers All-Time

  1. Rikako Ikee, 52.79 2018
  2. Miki Uchida, 53.93 2016
  3. Haruka Ueda, 54.00 2012
  4. Chihiro Igarashi, 54.10 2021
  5. Nagisa Ikemoto, 54.11 2023

In the men’s edition of the 100m free, it was Taikan Tanaka who topped the podium, putting up the sole sub-49 second result of the field.

Tanaka touched the time pad in a result of 48.84, giving himself a healthy advantage over the next-closest swimmer, Konosuke Yanagimoto, who hit 49.05 as the silver medalist.

For Tanaka, his outing marked the first time he’s been under the 49-second barrier. Entering this meet, the 22-year-old’s best result rested at the 49.41 he registered at the 2022 Japan National Championships. He’s now Japan’s 8th-best performer in history.

Additional Medalists

  • Miyu Namba got it done to claim the top seed in the women’s 800m free, logging 8:39.11 to rank #1 by over one second.
  • The men’s 1500m free saw Kazuki Imoto top heats field in 15:18.29, getting to the wall over 5 seconds ahead of the next-closest competitor.
  • 19-year-old Ichika Kajimoto took the women’s 400m IM in a time of 4:40.02. In the closely-fought battle, Ageha Tanigawa was next in 4:40.29 while Kanon Sugiyama rounded out the top 3 in 4:41.42.
  • Shuichi Takehara was the men’s 200 back victor in 1:57.39, just edging out Taiki Yanagawa who settled for silver in 1:57.58.

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3 months ago

Japan looks set for a 1-2 finish in the Men’s 400IM but a sub-54 women’s 100 freestyler is still lacking and they’ll likely end off the podium behind Haughey and the two Chinese

3 months ago

Retta, seems strange that the silver and bronze medal times in the M 400IM were reported here but not the Gold medal winning time (times kinda irrelevant to a gold medal winner but still interesting to many a reader).

Reply to  SHRKB8
3 months ago

Ogata won in 4.12.50 (8 hundredths better than Honda)

Reply to  nuotofan
3 months ago


3 months ago

Honda washed

Reply to  Noah
3 months ago

1:53 2fly today, yo

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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