Thursday, 5 April 2012

Delving into Japan's Depth In The Men's 200m Fly

A Japanese swimmer probably won't win the Men's 200m Fly in London. They might even come away empty handed, although with the strength of Takeshi Matsuda in the event that is looking unlikely at this stage. However, no nation can compete with the depth that Japan has in the Men's 200m Butterfly.

During today's heats at Japan Swim the top four men swam 1:56s and it took 2:00.02 just to qualify 16th into the semi finals. In tonight's semi finals it took a staggering 1:57.29 to make the final in 8th position. Matsuda led the way in 1:54.19.

To put this in context, here is what it took to make the final in some of the other major swimming nations to have held their Olympic trials:

Britain - 2:00.10
Australia - 2:00.31
Canada - 2:02.75
France - 2:04.96
China (only finals results available, so 8th place in the final) - 2:01.22

The one nation missing is of course USA. They are still yet to hold their trials, but here is a recap of the 8th placed times at the last two US Nationals:

2011 National Championships - 1:59.11
2010 National Championships - 1:59.75

Having incredible depth in an event does not make a huge difference in the overall medal table, but in an event that has been dominated by Michael Phelps for over a decade and one that will soon be up for grabs once the great man retires, Japan has put itself in a tremendous position to be leading the pack in a post-Phelps world.


  1. Did you see the womens 200m?

  2. I want to see what he can do against Phelps' time from worlds tomorrow

    Its a scary point you bring up because overriding point is that there are country dynasties in events and we may be seeing quite a few developing as a result of long-term depth. men's 200fly is definitely one, (and to a lesser extent 100fly) along with the 200breast (and to a lesser extent the 100breast, and a growing number in the women's version).

    So we we're seeing it Amongst Chinese men in distance swimming, very similar to the insatiable growth of Americans in the IMs and the backstrokes.