The 2023 Japan Championships are on the horizon, scheduled for April 4th through April 9th at the Tokyo Aquatics Center. The all-important meet represents the sole qualifying opportunity for this summer’s World Championships, World University Games and the Asian Games in September.
The Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) has released its selection policies for the aforementioned events, giving us insight into what it will take to make the cut.
Japan World Championships Selection Policy – Qualification Times, Criteria
The JASF is known for setting its minimum time standards at extremely stiff benchmarks with QTs for prior championships exceeding the existing national records in some events.
For Fukuoka, the federation has set minimum time standards faster than the World Aquatics (formerly FINA) ‘A’ cuts. In fact, the World Championships QTs for Japanese swimmers are equal to the World Aquatics (formerly FINA) ‘A’ cuts needed to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
That means, for example, men need to hit a time standard of 21.96 to qualify for Fukuoka, which is the Paris ‘A’ standard, as opposed to the 22.12 Fukuoka ‘A’ standard.
See the 5th and 10th columns in the chart below.
The good news for Japanese swimming fans is that several swimmers have already hit the time minimums this season. Although they’ll need to do it again at the Japan Championships, by producing Fukuoka-worthy performances at meets like the Konami Open and Kirara Cup, it’s a solid sign we can potentially see a healthy-sized squad when all is said and done in Tokyo next month.
Japanese Swimmers Having Already Hit JASF-mandated Fukuoka QTs
Katsuhiro Matsumoto – men’s 200m free, 1:45.88
Ryosuke Irie – men’s 100m back, 52.93; men’s 200m back, 1:56.81
Shoma Sato – men’s 200m breast, 2:08.55
Ippei Watanabe – men’s 200m breast, 2:08.55
Yu Hanaguruma – men’s 200m breast , 2:08.86
Tomoru Honda – men’s 200m fly, 1:52.70; men’s 400m IM 4:10.93
Takumi Terada – men’s 200m fly, 1:55.29
Daiya Seto – men’s 200m IM, 1:56.72; men’s 400m IM 4:10.14
Sou Ogata – men’s 200m IM 1:57.81; men’s 400m IM 4:12.24
Tomoyuki Matsushita – men’s 400m IM, 4:12.20
Rio Shirai – women’s 100m back, 59.98
Reona Aoki – women’s 100m breast, 1:06.79; women’s 200m breast 2:23.12
Hiroko Makino – women’s 100m fly, 57.73
Mio Narita – women’s 200m IM, 2:11.10; women’s 400m IM, 4:37.32