In Swimming

Modified on August 5, 2013

World Swimming Championships Barcelona 2013
*Japan's first gold in men's 400 meter medley
18 year old Daiya Seto breezed past his rival Kosuke Hagino and won the race on August 5. He clocked 4 min 8.69 seconds. He was behind during the back stroke, but breezed ahead with the breast stroke. On the same day, the men's 4X100 medley relay, the Japanese team won the bronze after the US team was disqualified. Among the relay member, Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima of the breaststroke.

*Terakawa wins 2nd bronze
28 year old Aya Terakawa is incredible. She won the bronze in the 50 meter backstoke on Aug 1. And before that the 100 meter backstroke.

*Hagino wins another silver medal
On Jul 28, Kosuke Hagino took part in the 400 meter freestyle. He came in 2nd. It's the first medal for Japan and this championship. On Aug 1, he won another silver in the 200 meter individual medley.

World Swimming Championships Rome 2009
*Koga takes silver in 50 meter backstroke
On the final day of the championships on Aug 2, Junya Koga competed in the men's 50 meter backstroke. He mourned the death of Japan's swimming great Hironoshin Furuhashi earlier that day and pledged to win a medal. He broke the Japan record clocking 24.24 seconds and came in 2nd.
*Irie misses the gold in the 200m backstroke
Japan's rising star, 19 year old Ryosuke Irie whose record in the men's 200 meter backstroke in May in Australia was not recognized due to an "unofficial" swimming wear exceeded that record on Jul 31 clocking 1 min 52.51. But he won only a silver as American Aaron Peirsol swam faster, breaking the world record.
*Matsuda wins a bronze again
Captain of the Japanese team Takeshi Matsuda clocked 1min 53.32 to come in 3rd in the men's 200 meter butterly. Meanwhile Michael Philps who swam by his side broke the world record.
*Koga wins the gold in 100 meter backstroke
22-year old Junya Koga won Japan's first gold in the championships on Jul 29. He clocked 52.26 sec. It's the first gold for Japan in the same competition since Daichi Suzuki at the Seoul Olympic Games.
*Kitajima's world record is broken
On Jul 27, Australian Brenton Rickard broke the world record for the men's 100 meter breast stroke held by Kosuke Kitajima. Then on Jul 31 Kitajima's record in the 200 meters were broken too.

Kitajima break world record
Kosuke Kitajima on June 8, 2008 broke the 200 meter men's breast stroke record held by Brendan Hansen. He was already faster than the receofr at 150 meter point. His pace did not go down and he finished in 2 minutes 7.51 seconds. Kitajima who is supported by Mizuno wore Speedo's LZR suit for the third time in a race. In previous races, for the men's 100 meter, he renewed his Japan record.

World record rush a national 2008
At the Japan Open short-course swimming championships on Feb 23, there was a world record rush. Yuko Nakanishi broke the world record in the 200m butterfly. Reiko Nakamura won the 200-meter backstroke with a world record too. Both were bronze medalists at the Olympic Games in Athens. Gold medalist in the mens breaststroke Kosuke Kitajima won both the 100 meter and the 200 meter race showing that he was recovering well after an injury.

World Swimming Championships Melbourne 2007
*Men's 400 meter relay team win silver
It's Japan's best relay performance at the championships on Apr 1. It consisted of Tomomi Morita, superstar Kosuke Kitajima, Olympic silver medalist Takashi Yamamoto, and Daisuke Hosokawa. At the same time, the team won a berth to the Olympic Games in Beijing.
*Kitajima wins gold
On Mar 30, Kosuke Kitajima finally won the gold in the 200 meter breast stroke. But his rival Brendan Hansen pulled out. Kitajima won the silver in the 100 meter race, that's after Brendan, and finished 5th in his first world championship challenge in the 50 meter race.
*Nakamura wins 2 bronze medals
Reiko Nakamura won 2 bronze. One in the 200 meter backstroke by clocking a Japan record. And also in the 100 meter backstroke.
*Shibata wins bronze
Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meter freestyle, Ai Shibata clocked a Japan record to come in 3rd in 1500 meter freestyle.But she finished only 6th in her favorite 800 meter race.

World Swimming Championships Montreal 2005
*Men's relay team win bronze
On Jul 31, the members for the men's 4X100 meter medley relay were Tomomi Morita, Kosuke Kitajima, Ryo Takayasu and Daisuke Hosokawa. Kitajima managed to give Japan 2nd place, but in the end, the team finished 3rd. It's the same as at the Athens Olympic Games. Overall in the championship, Japan won 9 medals. The best ever.

*Nakamura finishes 3rd
Reiko Nakamura won the bronze medal in the women's 200 meter backstroke on Jul 31.

*Imamura wins bronze
Genki Imamura who overwhelmed Kosuke Kitajima in the nationals to represent Japan in the World Championships 200 meter breast stroke, finished 3rd.
*Nakanishi earns 3rd bronze in a row
Yuko Nakanishi clocked 2 min 9.40 seconds in the women's 200 meter butterfly on July 28. It's her 3rd bronze in a world championships.
*Matsuda wins silver
21-year old Takeshi Matsuda clocked 1 min 55.62 seconds to come in 2nd in the men's 200 meter butterfly.
On July 25,Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima swam the 100 meter breastroke. He broke the national record clocking 59'53", but Brendan Hansen of the US exceeded, and so he finished 2nd. On July 28 he swam the 50 meter final, and came in 3rd which for him was not too bad.
*Shibata wins 2 medals
Ai Shibata broke her own Japan record and finished 2nd on Jul 25 in the women's 400 meter freestyle event. Then on Jul 30, she finshed 3rd in the 800 meter.
*3 medals in synchronized swimming
The first event at the championships began on Jul 17. Athens Olympic medalist retired, so Japan's synchronized members for the solo and duet competitions have been revamped. As a soloist, Emiko Suzuki finished 4th. In the duet, together with Sanae Harada, finished 3rd. In the team event, Japanese swimmers won a silver medal.

World Swimming Championships Barcelona 2003
*Japanese men achieve feat in relay
World record holder in the 100 m and 200 m breaststroke, Kosuki Kitajima was 2nd in the relay. He was followed by Takashi Yamamoto, silver medalist in the 200 meter butterfly. The final swimmer, however fell to 3rd. For Japanese men, in any case, it was the first time to clinch a medal in the 400 meter relay.
*Kitajima clinches another gold and world record
Kosuke Kitajima is incredible. On July 24, he swam the men's 200 meter breaststroke final, and showed he was invincible. He broke the world record clocking 2 minutes 9.42 seconds. He said after the race that his performance should pave the way for next year...meaning to the Olympic Games in Athens. Japan won more medals on the same day. In the women's Noriko Inada won the bronze in the 50 meter backstroke, while Yuko Nakanishi did too in the 200 meter butterfly.
*Yamamoto wins 2nd place in butterfly
2 time Olympian Takashi Yamamoto won his very first medal in a global event. It's the silver in the men's 200 meter butterfly and celebrated his 25th birthday on July 23. Cheering him on, his wife and former star swimmer Suzu Chiba (maiden name). He clocked 1 min 55.52 seconds.
*Kitajima clinches a gold and world record
20 year-old Kosuke Kitajima who was slightly behind in the men's 100 meter breaststroke with just 10 meters to go sprinted. He not only finished first. He clocked 59.78 seconds to break the world record on July 22 in Barcelona's World Championship.
*Japan clinches synchronized swimming gold
The Japanese team made history on July 16. It's in the free routine combination event at the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona. It's the first time the competition is official in the championships. The team consisting of 8 artists/ athletes performed to "Lion King" and earned 98.500 points to beat the US and Spanish teams. Japan also clinched 2 silvers in the synchronized swimming events.

In 2002
Kitajima breaks world record at Asian Games
20 yearold Kosuke Kitajima clocked 2 minutes 9.92 seconds in the 200 meter breaststroke. He broke the 10 year old world record at the Asian Games in Busan on Oct 2. Realizing the feat, he yelled in jubilee in the pool. Of course he won the gold medal.

Yamada breaks world record
In the national short course competition held in Tokyo on April 2, Sachiko Yamada clocked 8 minutes 14.35 seconds in the women's 800 meter freestyle. It's the first time a woman swimmer broke the freestyle world record.

In 2001
World Swimming Championships Fukuoka 2001 July 16 to 29
It's the first time the championships is held in Asia. Synchronized swimming competitions were held first. And first of the Japanese to win a medal was Miya Tachibana on July 19 in the solo event. She finished 3rd. On July 20, she won a medal again. This time the top post with Miho Takeda in the duet. They put on a comical show which was well put together and received by the audience. And in the team event the following day, Japan clinched the silver.

Among the men, the first to clinch a medal was Ken Terauchi. He came in third in the 3 meter diving event on July 24. But the following day, he pulled out from other events due to a knee injury.

In the women's 4 X 200 meter relay on July 25, Japan finished 5th, or it seemed. After the race it was judged that Australia did not relay properly, and then the US. The US, however, complained. And the judges appeared to listen to them, but then Japan complained. It was finally decided the next day that Australia and the US were both disqualified. Japan won the bronze.

On July 26, another medal for Japan. Kosuke Kitajima clocked 2 min.11.21 breaking the Japan record to win the bronze medal in the men's 200 meter breaststroke.

In the women's 100 meter butterfly, veteran Junko Onishi finished the race third on July 28. She's the oldest on the women's team at 26. By the way, Australia's Ian Thorpe clinched his 6th goal this day in the men's medley relay.

In 2000
font size=4>CAS rules Suzu case
2-time Olympian Suzu Chiba complained for not having been selected on the Sydney Olympic team. She had exceeded the world A record to win the 200 meter freestyle race in April. And for the first time in the history of Japanese sports, the matter was brought to the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A hearing was held of Aug. 3 in Tokyo. CAS decided ruled out Chiba's complaint but ordered the Japan Amateur Swimming Federation to pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs for not having been clear about the Olympic selection. This was a report of great concern that about 250 press and 30 TV cameras gathered at the press conference pronouncing the result. Chiba said that she is satisfied with the judgement. While the JASF for the first time disclosed that it's selected Olympians on 3 criteria. One of them was 8th in the world in 1999 for women. Chiba was 17.

World record broken by Nakamura
At the national championship in Tokyo, on Apr.23, 2000, Mai Nakamura clocked 28.67 seconds in the 50 meter backstroke. She broke the world record which Spain Nina Zivanevskaya held by 0.02 seconds. . It's the first time since Mayumi Aoki, a 100 meter butterfly gold medalist in Munich 1972 that a Japanese challenged the record. However, she will not go to the Olympic Games in Sydney for this achievement, since the race is not among the Olympic competitions.

In 1998
Gold rush at the Asian Games
Japanese men and women clinched medals after medals in the 14th Asian Games in Thailand. The very last swimming competition was held on Dec. 12 in which Masato Hirano topped the 1500 meter race. In all, Japan won 15 golds to win back its place as the Asian champion from China. China took 13 golds.

Japanese medals at the World Championships in Perth
16 year-old Yasuko Tajima clinched the bronze medal in the 400 meter individual medley at the World Swimming Championships in Perth on Jan. 11. She clocked 4 minutes 39.45 seconds, breaking the Japanese record. It's the first time a Japanese won a medal in this event. The last time Japan had won medals in the swimming races at the World Championships was in 1991. Then in the synchronized swimming's individual event on Jan.13, Miya Tachibana came in 3rd with a routine danced to Japanese traditional style music. Also in the duet, Miya, with Miho Takeda won the silver medal. It's Japan's 3 straight silver medal in the duet at the World Championships. In the team competition too, Japan won another silver. Japan's medal rush did not stop there. In competitive swimming, Mai Nakamura clocked 1 minute 1.28 seconds in the 100 meter backstroke for the silver medal. She was 4th at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Then on Jan. 15 in the women's 100 meter Ayari Aoyama also clinched the silver by breaking the Japan record she herself held finishing in 58.79 seconds. The next day, the women's 400 meter relay was held. There, the Japanese team, which include Nakamura and Aoyama came in third and broke the national record at 4 min 6.27 seconds. It's the first time ever that Japan clinched a medal in the relay. Actually, Mai Nakamura won another medal on Jan. 17 in the 200 meter backstroke. She came in third.

2001 Championships given to Fukuoka
For the first time, the World Swimming Championships will be held in Asia. On Jan. 10, FINA announced that Japan's southern city Fukuoka has been chosen as the site for the 2001 Championships. Fukuoka and Barcelona were the final bidders to the championships.

In 1997
The first all-women swimming competitions
Dubbed the first masters swimming event only for women, the Women's Swim Festival was held in Chiba Prefecture on Oct.4 and 5, 1997. The nearly 2000 participants were those belonging to swimming clubs all over Japan. They include, former Olympians in the 1936 Berlin Games and 1964 Tokyo Games. The world record was broken in the 100 meter breaststroke of the 70 to 74 year old division. The photo on the right was taken by Michiyo during the event.

Aoyama marks the best time in the world
Ayari Aoyama clocked 59.03 seconds in the 100 meter butterfly at the East Asian Games in South Korea on May 14, 1997. It's the best time recorded in the world so far this year. Of course, she won the gold medal in the competition. Aoyama, who is known for her long submarine style start has shortned it to 30 meters in this race. She is believed to have deliberately done so to gradually get conform herself to the new rule of 15 meters restriction that is expected to be officially approved in January 1998.

Short course record is broken
Atlanta Olympic swimmer Ayari Aoyama broke the world record in the junior national competition. The 15-year old clocked 58.24 seconds in the 100 meter butterfly. She improved the former record holding time by .05 seconds. The feat was achieved at Tokyo's Tatsumi International Swimming Center on Mar. 28, 1997. It's the first time in 25 years that a Japanese swimmer has broken the world record. The short course is competed in a 25 meter pool--half the size of the Olympic pool. Records sets in these events have been officially recognized by the International Amateur Swimming Federation since March 1991. Aoyama was 6th in the Olympic 100 meters in 1996

Back to Index on Other Sports