Reona Aoki, Yasuhiro Koseki Qualify For Worlds at Japan Open

Reana Aoki World University Games 2015
Reona Aoki. Photo Courtesy: Gwangju Summer Universiade Organizing Committee

The 2019 Japan Open began on Thursday as some extremely fast swims produced some world championship qualifying times.

The meet isn’t quite the same without Rikako Ikee, the star of last year’s Asian Games, who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year.

But other top swimmers did their best to pick up the slack with some fast racing as Reona Aoki and Yasuhiro Koseki qualified for this summer’s world championships.

Here is a look at what happened on Day 1:


Women’s 400 Free

Miyu Namba, a 16-year-old, cruised to a Japanese high school record to win gold in the 400 free, finishing in 4:08.37 — the best time of her young career.

Chihiro Igarashi was right behind at 4:08.45, followed by Waka Kobori (4:08.70).

The world qualifying time for the event is 4:05.89.

Women’s 50 Fly

Ai Soma got off to a fast start and dropped nearly three tenths from her best time to win the 50 fly in 26.14.

Meanwhile, Yukina Hirayama and Masako Kuroki tied for the silver medal at 26.33.

Men’s 50 Fly

Kengo Ida was able to reach the wall first in the men’s 50 fly (23.42), holding off Singapore’s Joseph Schooling (23.50), who also was competing at the meet.

The world qualifying time is 23.00.

Shinri Shioura finished third in 23.62.

Men’s 400 IM

Yuuki Ikari nearly qualified for worlds with his winning time in the 400 IM, finishing in 4:13.59, just four hundredths off the qualifying standard for Gwangju.

Ippei Miyamoto finished second in 4:17.53, followed by Takeharu Fujimori (4:17.88).

Men’s 100 Free

Katsuhiro Matsumoto put together an extremely strong race to hold off Katsumi Nakamura in the 100 free final.

Matsumoto finished in 48.2, followed by Natkamura (48.70).

Akira Nanba was third in 49.14.

The world standard is 48.11.

Women’s 100 Breast

Reona Aoki was able to punch her ticket for the world championships by winning the 100 breast in 1:06.44, qualifying by four hundredths of a second.

Aoki’s time puts her at fourth-fastest in the world this year behind Lilly King (1:05.68), Yuliya Efimova (1:05.99) and Annie Lazor (1:06.03).

Olympic medalist Satsomi Suzuki was second in 1:06.81, followed by Kanako Watanabe (1:07.09).

Men’s 100 Breast

Yashuhiro Koseki also qualified for the world championships in the 100 breast, winning the men’s event in 59.12.

That makes him the fifth-fastest performer of the year behind Adam Peaty (57.86), Ilya Shymanovich (58.29), James Wilby (58.66) and Fabio Scozzoli (59.05).

Meanwhile, Daiya Seto turned in an impressive 59.79 in one of his off events. It was the first time he broke a minute in the event.

Ippei Watanabe finished third in 1:00.17.

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