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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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

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!


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


no one in their sane mind is sleeping on Hagino …


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.


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 »


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)

Tom from Chicago

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 »


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

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


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


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

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!

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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