2022 JAPAN SWIM (JAPAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS)
Although the Japanese roster for the 2022 World Championships has already been decided, this year’s Japan Swim/Japan Swimming Championships still holds a vital purpose for domestic swimmers.
Kicking off today, the 4-day meet presents another opportunity for racers to bag spots on the Asian Games, Junior Pan Pacific Championships and World Junior Championships rosters.
Reminder of Japan’s 2022 World Championships Roster
Not wasting any time putting his mark on this meet was 27-year-old multi-world champion Daiya Seto. Seto crushed a world-leading time of 4:09.07 in the men’s 400m IM, exacting revenge on his domestic rival Tomoru Honda who won this event at the World Championships Trials.
After establishing himself as the top-seeded swimmer of the morning with a heats time of 4:14.44, Honda wound up with the silver, posting a final outing of 4:11.35. As such, Seto won commandingly, beating Honda by over 2 seconds en route to logging a new season-best.
Seto has already been as swift as 4:10.82 from the World Trials, so the man managed to hack nearly 2 seconds off of that result to now grab the world rankings crown away from newly-minted British national record holder Duncan Scott. Both Honda and Seto will represent Japan in this event in Budapest this summer.
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Our partner SwimmingStats recently posted a graphic on the number of sub-4:10 400m IM times performed by swimmers around the world. Prior to this race, Seto had led the all-time field with a remarkable 16, and that number now grows to 17. We’ll see how the Americans answer this performance at their International Trials final coming up this evening from Greensboro.
But Seto wasn’t the only world rankings-rattler tonight, as leukemia survivor and two-time Olympian Rikako Ikee made some major waves in the women’s 50m fly.
The 21-year-old swimmer posted a time of 25.49 to win the race, producing her fastest since having returned to racing in late 2020.
Entering this meet, the national record holder held a 2021-best of 25.56 followed by a time of 25.75 from March of this year. As such, tonight’s result sliced .08 off of her fastest post-comeback outing, inserting her atop the world rankings for the season.
Yuya Tanaka posted a time of 23.19 to nearly hit a new Japanese national record in the men’s 50m fly. The current Japanese standard rests at the 23.17 Takeshi Kawamoto logged last year, so Tanaka was merely .02 away from matching it. He now becomes the nation’s 2nd fastest man ever in the event.
Reona Aoki didn’t quite come into range of her world-leading 1:05.19 100m breaststroke she produced earlier this year, but the Olympian still grabbed gold, hitting 1:06.60 as the only swimmer under 1:07 this evening.
Just one man dipped under the minute threshold in the 100m breast, with Ryuya Mura getting it done for gold in 59.65.