Tomoru Honda Rips 200 Fly PB of 1:54.59 In OLY Prep Meet


Although the Japanese big guns were in the water tonight in Chiba, the 2021 Japan Open is a non-selection meet, with the nation’s Olympic roster for a home-based Games already determined.

As such, the likes of Daiya Seto, Yui Ohashi and Kosuke Hagino put up modest performances, by their standard, while taking advantage of the racing opportunity.

For Seto, the man took on a grueling 200m fly/200m IM double in this evening’s finals session, with only one women’s race in between.

In the 2fly, Seto placed 5th in a mark of 1:57.74, leaving the podium spots up for grabs.

Leading the field was Tomoru Hondastopping the clock in at super quick time of 1:54.59. That outing beats out the 1:54.88 result he logged at the Japan Swim, the competition which represented the nation’s sole Olympic qualifying opportunity.

There in Tokyo, Honda split 54.89/59.99 to qualify for the Games while tonight his splits included 54.71/59.88 to slice .29 from the former performance. In doing so, Honda’s 1:54.59 outing here bumps him up one spot on the all-time Japanese performers’ list. Honda frog-hops Yuya Yajima to now become Japan’s #6 performer all-time in this 2fly event.

Worldwide, Honda also scoots past Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi to check-in as the #3 200m flyer in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 Fly

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Behind Honda was Daiki Tanaka who turned in a silver medal-worthy result of 1:56.43 while Nao Horomura got it done for bronze in 1:57.23.

Seto’s 200m IM time of 1:59.30 in his 2nd event rendered him 3rd behind winner Keita Sunama who touched in 1:57.81 and backstroking ace Ryosuke Irie who hit 1:59.04. Impressively, at 31 years of age, Irie’s 200m IM time checks-in as a lifetime best, overtaking his previous PB of 1:59.36 from 2014.

The women’s 200m fly saw 21-year-old Kina Hayashi rip a big-time new personal best, posting a head-turning 2:07.58. Opening in 1:01.67 and closing in 1:05.91, Hayashi topped Suzuka Hasegawa by just under half a second, with Hasegawa clinching silver in 2:08.02.

As for Hayashi, she captured the bronze medal at the Japanese Olympic Trials, posting a mark there in Tokyo of 2:08.76. Prior to that outing, in October of 2020 Hayashi was as quick as 2:08.56 at the Japan Inter-Collegiate Championships.

As such, with tonight’s performance, Hayashi now enters the list of top 10 performers worldwide this season and becomes Japan’s 7th fastest female all-time.

Doubling up on his 200m freestyle victory from earlier in the meet, Katsuo Matsumoto also took the 400m free in a time of 3:46.88. Winning the race by over 2 seconds, Matsumoto raced his way to a new lifetime best, crushing his previous 4free PB of 3:49.52 from last December.

Tonight, with his sub-3:47 outing, Matsumoto becomes Japan’s 3rd fastest performer all-time, sitting only behind national record holder Hagino (3:43.90) and Takeshi Matsuda (3:44.99). Matsumoto’s 3:46.88 would have taken the gold at the Japanese Olympic Trials.

Additional Notes

  • Yui Ohashi topped the women’s 200m IM in a time of 2:10.59.
  • Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee followed up her breaststroke off-events at this meet with her bread-and-butter 100m free. After posting 54.33 in the morning for the top spot Ikee settled for silver in 54.26 to Chihiro Igarashi‘s 54.14.
  • Teen Miyu Namba scored the 800m free victory in 8:33.54.
  • The men’s 50m back saw Junya Koga take the title in a time of 24.92, his quickest since returning to competition post-suspension.
  • Anna Konishi won the women’s 50m back in 28.37.

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There's no doubt that he's tightening up
2 years ago

Was skim reading this, saw Irie 1:59.04, thought huh that seems kinda slow for the ever-consistent backstroker.

Read the sentence through again slowly… WOW that’s super impressive!

Flicking through the splits, 30.00 on the backstroke is (relatively) pedestrian, but he closed in 27.94 on the freestyle!


It’s scary to think how good he’s be if he trained the IM as a premier event

2 years ago

Seto used to put crazy times even when not tapered, i’m really worried if he really found his early 2020 form or not

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Swimmerb
2 years ago

Seto dropped 4:07 in-season 400 IM in both 2017 and 2019, and went 4:06 before the pandemic last year.
His best time this year is just 4:09. Maybe he’s saving big taper for Olympics but I don’t think he will be back to early 2020 form with this trajectory. He’s at best in his 2019 form and this means he is beatable.

Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
2 years ago

He did have a large scandal in japan, which got him removed from his team, and with the effects of the pandemic had some clear effects on his swimming, as well as his morale. However, it is still two months or so until the games and we just have to hope that he pulls through. he has a wife and child so he will have to perform at his best for them also as well as for our country.

2 years ago

Milak´s time is not updated, Swimswam 🙂 1.15.10 at the Euros is his fastest time this year.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Kim
2 years ago

1.15? Bloke must have been flying 🙂

Reply to  Thomas Selig
2 years ago

he took special flippers ….lol

Reply to  Kim
2 years ago

All the European champ. are not considered : burdisso 1:54:28. kenderesi 1:54:43. Ivanov 1:54:50

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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