2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, June 3rd – Sunday, June 6th
- Chiba International Swimming Centre
- Prelims at 10 am local/Finals at 4:30 pm local
- LCM (50m)
- Non-Olympic Qualifier
- Day 1 Recap/Day 2 Recap
- Live Results
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.
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 Honda, stopping 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.
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.
- 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.