Watch Japan’s Ippei Watanabe Crush 2:06.67 200 Breast World Record

While competing at the 2017 Kosuke Kitajima Cup, 19-year-old Japanese swimmer Ippei Watanabe cranked out a shiny new World Record in the men’s long course meters 200 breaststroke. Firing off a monster 2:06.67 at the Tatsumi International Swim Centre tonight on Tokyo, Watanabe became the first man ever to score a sub-2:07 200 breast, easily overtaking the previous world record mark by .34 seconds.

The elusive 200 breast World Record was previously held by countryman Akihiro Yamaguchi with the 2:07.01 he set in 2012. Although Yamaguchi has been silent ever since, Watanabe has quietly and steadily been on the rise, having broken the World Junior Record in this event back in May 2015. Although it’s since been overtaken by Russia’s Anton Chupkov, Watanabe’s junior mark of 2:09.75 from just less than 2 years ago gives an eye-opening view of this young man’s progression in the event.

Split Comparison

Yamaguchi – 1:01.72/1:05.29 = 2:07.01
Watanabe – 1:01.33/1:05.34 = 2:06.67 (28.95/ 32.38/ 32.69/ 32.65)

Watanabe made a run at an Olympic gold medal in the 200 breast, heading into the Rio final with a newly-minted Olympic Record of 2:07.22 in the semi-finals. Unable to replicate that caliber of performance, the teen ultimately finished in 6th place overall in a slower 2:07.87.

However, with tonight’s performance, Watanabe may have just foreshadowed a thrilling breaststroke performance that may be in store come the 2020 Olympic Games when the then-23-year-old may be performing in front of a home crowd.

Posted by Kosuke Kitajima Official Site on Saturday, January 28, 2017

Men’s 200 Breaststroke – All-time

  1. Ippei Watanabe, JPN (2017) – 2:06.67
  2. Akihiro Yamaguchi, JPN (2012) – 2:07.01
  3. Josh Prenot, USA (2016) – 2:07.17
  4. Daniel Gyurta, HUN (2013) – 2:07.23
  5. Ross Murdoch, GBR (2014) – 2:07.30

Video courtesy of Alex Pussieldi/YouTube.

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Sir Swimsalot
5 years ago

He can knock off another couple tenths if he improves his start. Needs a lot of work

6 years ago

Just a tiny correction: Gyurta swam that WR in 2012 (over the Games).

6 years ago

That last 50… Incredible!

IMs for days
6 years ago

2017 Budapest should be awesome
Cordes/Licon (depends on trials)

6 years ago

Coach mike 1957, no he,s not related to kanako Watanabe. Watanabe is a common Japanese last name. Like “smith” in the English ( anglo) world.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Carlo
6 years ago

Thank you

6 years ago

Beautiful stroke. Feel like he would be an ideal candidate for one of those technique instruction videos. His stroke is also very conventionally beautiful – no obvious quirks or oddities. In an era where so many world records come from those with unconventional strokes (Phelps breathing every stroke in fly, peaty with ultra fast tempo, ledecky with instense loping stroke in distance events, etc), it’s kind of refreshing to see old school techniques beautifully execute a world record.

Coach Mike 1952
6 years ago

Does anyone know if he is related to Kanako Watanabe?

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
6 years ago

He is not related .

Hook em
6 years ago

He can go 2:05

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