Japan Ponders 0.04 Gap & 59.63 Cut: Yasuhiro Koseki 59.66 Win; Kosuke Kitajima 59.62 Semi

Kosuke Kitajima and Ryo Tatsieshi raced side by side at the London 2012 Games but in Rio over 100m, Tateishi is out, Kitajima may be in and Yosuhiro Koseki the national champion first in line for selection - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Japan set its qualification target for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at 59.63. Fair enough in the land of Kosuke Kitajima, the most decorated breaststroke specialist in history with four Olympic crowns to his name. Indeed, it was 33-year-old Kitajima, seeking a berth on a fifth Olympic team, who led the charge in semis at Japanese nationals in Tokyo yesterday with a 59.62. The final today was a nervier affair and selectors must now decide: Yasuhiro Koseki was out in 27.99, home in 59.66; Kitajima, 28.17, 59.93, silver his as the only man at trials who cracked the cut for Rio

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Dave Nicholson

Some of the times coming out of France, China and Japan are quick but overall these meets are unimpressive for an Olympic year. I guess we’ll see how the Aussies do…


Mr Nicholson; be prepared for a continuation of your disappointment. People have been distinctly over-optimistic in their expectations.

The core fact remains that none of these counties; and AUS, GBR & CAN are no different; have depth or even quality across their programs. Its distinctly unlikely that ANY of these teams will be fielding qualifiers (let alone two qualifiers) in every event.

Furthermore; world records happen “when they happen” and not always coinciding with Olympic trials or major international meets.


Kitajima could usually be counted on to provide reliable results during times when a lot of Japanese swimmers struggled to live up to seed times once they left their friendly islands. He also comes across as a stand-up guy who is a good presence on his squads. As long as the budget is there for his inclusion, no reason not to bring him as a good veteran influence on the Olympic group, even if it looks like his best days are in the past.




I think Japan should bring both, or Kitajima at least.

Their medley relay is still pretty strong and can win bronze. In Kazan, they finished only 0.6 seconds behind bronze medalists France.

Also, Kitajima usually delivered in relay, often faster than his individual swims, counting off rolling start.


Craig, I´ve saw that actually none are classified, it seems that the time needed to met JPN standard must be made on Finals.. If that is true, no one is qualified yet.

Craig Lord

Yes, that seems to be the case, Rafael…. I’m not sure what it says about medley relay selections when solo target not accomplished; and what is down to selector discretion in terms of swimmers meeting the qualification target in the rounds…

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