Saturday, 21 May 2011
Japan Open - Day Two
• 1996 born Kanako Watanabe followed up yesterday's 1:07.10 effort in the 100 Breast with a win in the 50 Breaststroke. Her time of 31.83 set a new Junior record. Watanabe falls more into the category of a 100/200 specialist (ie. Rebecca Soni), than a 50/100 swimmer (ie. Jessica Hardy). Tomorrow's 200 should be a cracker after last month's 2:25.59 at Japanese Nationals. Another world ranked top 10 swim (sub 2:25) could be on the cards.
• Ryosuke Irie won the 200 Back in a blazing time of 1:54.55. That time is the third fastest swim since the suit ban and only Ryan Lochte and Aarson Peirsol have swum faster in a textile suit. Right now the 200 Back is shaping up to be a terrific race in Shanghai. It's hard to look past Ryan Lochte, but Irie looks like his strongest challenger. 10 days ago Tyler Clary also reported on twitter that he swam 1:54.7 in jammers... in training! Those three look to have a lead on the rest of the world right now.
• Shiho Sakai put in another top effort in the women's 200 Back. Her 2:08.38 is the eighth fastest swim in the world this year and is just a shade slower than her fifth-ranked 2:07.98 from Nationals. On current form, Sakai looks like a shoe-in for a final spot in Shanghai. 2011 Watchlist member, 17-year-old Sayaka Akase swam 2:09.38 and is definitely a name worth following over the next few years.
• Japan now has three men in the Top 10 in the world on the 400 IM. Yuuya Horihata took the win tonight in 4:12.96, just slightly down on his 4:12.28 from Nationals. The real story came from two other members of the 2011 Watchlist, Daiya Seto and Kousuke Hagino who finished in 4:13.42 and 4:14.58 respectively. Both born in 1994, those times mark a drop from 2010 of 4 seconds from Hagino and 5.5 seconds from Seto.
• 1994 also produced another top 400 IM swimmer on the women's side. Miyu Ohtsuka improved upon her 4:39.35 from Nationals to win tonight in 4:38.05, the 4th fastest time in the world this year.