Watch Kosuke Hagino’s Comeback 200 IM From Kitajima Cup

Japanese National Record Holder, Kosuke Hagino, had been extremely quiet on the competition front since injuring his elbow just before last summer’s FINA World Championships.

But, the 21-year-old emerged last weekend at the 2016 Kosuke Kitajima Cup in Tokyo, putting the world on notice that his elbow is in great shape. First, Hagino cranked out an impressive 400 IM victory, clocking a time of 4:11.38, a mark which now sits atop this season’s world rankings.

Then the following day, Hagino blasted a time of 1:57.73 to take the 200 IM event, edging out teammates Daiya Seto and Hiromasa Fujimori. Hagino’s mark is now sits as the 3rd quickest in the world, with Seto touching in 1:57.95 and Fujimori in 1:58.46.

Both swims bode well for the Japanese weapon Hagino who demonstrated that he will most certainly be a threat come Rio, which now sits less than 200 days away.

Below, watch Hagino and Seto in action as they battle out the 200 IM on day 2 of the 2016 Kosuke Kitajima Cup. Seto is in lane 6 and Hagino is in lane 5, separated by just .22 of a second at the end.

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7 years ago

Before we say that other countries are catching up, let’s not forget the London Olympics. You know, the most recent Olympic Games. One where the United States just 4 years ago was more dominant than they had been in a decade of Olympiads.

31 medals tied for the most by the US (or any country) since 2000, when the US was 33. The most before that was 34 from the somewhat weakened field leftover from the Soviet boycott. In fact the past two Olympics are both tied for second most medals by the US in the past 7 Games. Not a bad trend.

In gold medals, it’s even more apparent. The 16 golds by the US was the… Read more »

Reply to  mcgillrocks
7 years ago

Very interesting post…Swimswam should do a short article on the projected gold medal count for Rio.

I thought about this for a minute…here is what I have come up with:

Highest probability for gold:
1) W 800Fr
2) W 400Fr
3) W 200Fr
4) M 200IM
5) M 200Fly (I think if Phelps swims both than he is going to win at least one of the two!)
6) W 4x200Fr
7) M 4x200Fr

Next level down:
8) M 100Fly
9) M 100Bk
10) M 4x100medley
11) W 4x100medley (not sure on this one)

Outside chance?:
12) W 200Bk
13) M 50Fr (sorry Bobo, but maybe Manadou… Read more »

7 years ago

The 200m free is interesting in that by comparing 2014 and 2015, there is no clear favorite. In fact the men best positioned to have a good 2015 after their 2014 did not perform well (Fraser-Holmes and Hagino). You could make a case that if Hagino was there in Kazan, he probably would’ve won (an argument I buy), however the end all be all is that there are probably 8 men with a 2014-2015 best within half a second of eachother.

At the end of the day, I don’t think this is going to be an event is going to have a very tight finish- Agnel has already shown us what kind of times are possible and it’s just going… Read more »

7 years ago

A young lion should not be afraid, but eager, to race the best of the best, as Phelps did in his early days when he raced VDH and Thorpe in Athens. Let’s see him swim the 200 IM against Phelps, Lochte, perhaps Cseh (?) and the rest, it’s going to be a great race. I more or less agree that he should drop backstroke events and the 400 free. In the 200, he can at least help the national relay.

Reply to  luigi
7 years ago

200 free for Hagino and for many others. Pending injuries and illness, the men’s 200 free could be the most open race in the history of Olympics…, beside Hagino: Guy, Biedermann, Lochte, Agnel, Sun, Park, Le Clos (he will be a medal contender as he said at last Worlds in Kazan), McEvoy and TFH from Australia, Stjepanovic.., and to have a tremendous level already in the heats (and what a semifinals..), the second Usa (Dwyer? Rooney?), the dutch Vershuren, the other french Stravius and the two russians (and if Izotov should find a good shape he would be another to count for medal). Nobody sure to swim a 1.44, everyone almost sure to swim under 1.46: what a narrow,… Read more »

Reply to  paolo
7 years ago

I agree, and would also like to nominate the men’s 200 breast. In the last two years, I think 7 or 8 different swimmers have gone 2:07. I’m amazed no one broke 2:07 in Kazan, but I still think we might see a similar situation to what you’re describing in Rio: potentially the whole final heat within a second of each other.

Reply to  sven
7 years ago

I agree and that is why I wrote that in the 200 free he should “at least” help the relay. I am not sure I would put Lochte in that long list; on the other end, some young swimmer might come out of nowhere and snatch a medal (although this kind of surprise is perhaps more common in the sprint races).

7 years ago

Hagino’s best schedule at Olympics? In my opinion 400 im, 200 free and 200 im (will be the same for Lochte?).
No 400 free, colliding with 400 im the first day of competition, no 200 back colliding with 200 im.
If Hagino will swim these 3 individual events he will be in ideal conditions to give the best in each of them and will be a likely medalist in each of them (with good chances of gold in the 400 im, but not only).
Because of fierce competition, the smarter choice of the schedule of races will be very important for many stars: Hagino, Cseh, LeClos.. and also Phelps and Lochte.

7 years ago

TOM FROM CHICAGO off course the US is not going to be as dominant as they were before. They are still going to win the most medals due to their huge sports industry. No nation spends the kind of money the US spends in sports. It,s not even close. There,s nothing similar to the NCAA outside the US. Yes Britain has it,s BUCS collegiate sports system but it,s nowhere as huge as the NCAA.

Other nations are producing great swimmers but the only nation that comes close to the US in both quality and quantity is Australia. Australia doesn’t spend the kind of money that the US spends in sports. What helps Australia is that swimming is part of their… Read more »

Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

The US is not as dominant as we were before. The Japanese have some great swimmers. The Aussies have a whole bunch of great swimmers. The Russians always have a couple. The UK has surprisingly got some great swimmers and probably 4 of the top 10 male breaststrokers. France has been great in sprints. And the rest of Europe has excellent swimmers in various nations like Cseh, Sjostrom, Ottesen, Paltrinieri, Koch, Belmonte, Hossu, etc. And God only knows what is going to come out of China.

I think the US will win the medal count, but not by much. I think it would be excellent if the US could get half as many medals as 2012. The US should consider… Read more »

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

The good part of you commenting under the same name is that I don’t even have to waste time reading your comment, I could skip straight to the downvote.

Have you been paying attention to the swimming world the past few months? Tom Shields goes 51.0 in 100 Fly and Kevin Cordes goes 26 mid, 2:07.8, and most likely a 58 in the breaststrokes.

Team Rwanda
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
7 years ago

More like skip straight to the last sentence of the second paragraph! I wish swimswam had a filter for condescending comments

Reply to  Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

Weird. 2 of those swimmers you just mentioned received some kind of medal at worlds this past year…

Reply to  Swimmer
7 years ago

Yep, but that doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the world is catching up, does it?

Next part is a generic comment, not to you, “Swimmer”.

The gap is closing – That can be a compliment to the rest of the world, why do you all presume it means a US decline? Other countries are capable of improving, you know… It’s these sort of condescending presumptions non-American commentors on these forums get so sarcastic about.

Human Ambition
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
7 years ago

Hello Tom,

In the 70s 4-5 nations took almost all medals. Now swimming is extremely global. US of A is still amazing but the difference is that a lot more with ability has the possibility to perform now.

Koch, Paltrinieri, Hagino, Peaty, Guy, Manadou, Hosszu and Sjöström could win magnificent in Rio but so could Phelps, Lochte, Adrian, Franklin, Ledecky and Grevers. This will all be a ball!

7 years ago

DRU it,s hard to say if Phelps can swim three events in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM and break the 200 IM wr. Hagino has shown the ability to somehow win. He did it against Phelps in the 200 IM and sun yang in the 200 free. I hope hagino drops the backstroke events.

Reply to  carlo
7 years ago

My first thought re: 200 back vs. 200 IM was “well it’s gonna be pretty hard to get around Phelps in the IM, maybe he should focus on the backstroke” but then I remembered Mitch Larkin.

I actually like his chances better vs. Phelps, honestly. I agree, drop the backstroke.

Personally, I think he’ll end up with bronze in the IM, but I also feel like the top 3 in the IM (Phelps/Lochte/Hagino) could have any order come Rio. He is most certainly a threat.

He’s certainly got a killer instinct, no doubt there. If he doesn’t overload his schedule, he should do well. I say the 400 IM ends up a dogfight between him and Lochte. 200 IM is… Read more »

Reply to  carlo
7 years ago

phelps was 1:54.27 in London (while also swimming the 400 IM to go along with the other 2 events mentioned) and 1:54.75 at last year’s summer nationals.. the world record is 1:54.00

I think he will go faster than he did at summer nationals in all 3 events.. but the 2 IM he has a shot at the WR (which I think he will break)

7 years ago

Everyone is sleeping on Hagino. Let’s remember 2014 was one of the better years any man not named Phelps or Lochte has had in a last time. 1:55/4:07 is the 3rd best IM combo anyone’s ever done, and 1:45/3:44 is also incredibly legit. That summer he also beat Phelps by only hundredths in the 200 IM and Sun Yang by hundredths in the 200 free. He’s shown the ability to stare down to tiger and snatch victory.

The talk is about the possibility of Le Clos crashing the Phelps Comeback Party, but Hagino is younger and easily as likely to snatch away a medal from MP.

Steve-O Nolan
Reply to  mcgillrocks
7 years ago

Which is why I really hope he swims 10,000 events again.

Do ’em all, Kosuke! Throw in a 200 fly or something, too! How about open water? I’m sure you’d be great at it!

Reply to  Steve-O Nolan
7 years ago

More likely to do the backstroke events.. But he has relay(s) too

I see him winning the 400 IM.. And him and lochte will battle for the silver in the 2 IM

But I think phelps breaks the WR in that event

Reply to  mcgillrocks
7 years ago

no one in their sane mind is sleeping on Hagino …

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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