2019 TOKYO SENIOR WINTER MEET
- Saturday, December 7th & Sunday, December 8th
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- Results (in Japanese)
25-year-old Kosuke Hagino is continuing his comeback journey after the 400m IM Olympic gold medalist took an almost 5-month hiatus from competitive swimming earlier this year to tend to mind and body.
The soon-to-be new father opted out of the Japanese trial meets this spring and, subsequently, the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships, but has since re-committed to finding his mojo and speed in time to do his nation proud next year at the home-based Olympic Games.
After making the Japanese national team just in the nick of time last month, Hagino raced at the Tokyo Senior Winter Meet over this past weekend in Tokyo. The man steered away from his usual IM events and instead took on the 200m quartet of the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and fly events.
In the 200m free, Hagino produced a time of 1:45.48 to take the race by over 3 seconds. Splitting 51.28/54.20, Hagino checked in with his swiftest short-course performance of 2019. He owns the 2nd fastest performance ever by a Japanese swimmer in 1:42.62, a mark which stood as the national record until Katsuhiro Matsumoto surpassed it with a 1:42.41 this past October.
At that meet, the Japanese Short Course Championships, Hagino’s time here would have taken bronze, just for perspective.
Moving on to the 200m back, Hagino hit the wall in a time of 1:53.31 to get the win, another outing that would have made him the bronze medalist at October’s Short Course Nationals.
Swimming an entirely off event of the men’s 200m breast, Hagino put up a respectable time of 2:08.77 for 3rd place. He followed that up with a mark of 1:54.58 to take the 200m fly.
Hagino’s wife is expected to give birth to the couple’s first child sometime this winter, although details of the actual date have been kept under wraps.
Regardless, the Olympian is scheduled to compete at the annual Kosuke Kitajima Cup slated for late January. The event typically kicks off the Japanese long course season and will carry extra significance in terms of lining up the key contenders for Aprils’ Olympic trials.