The first five weeks of racing this year have been fairly fast compared to bygone seasons, courtesy in large part to the speed of Japan’s best at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup in Tokyo, as well as swimmers at the Euro Meet, the US Pro Swim series and the likes of the Golden Tour in France and other such warm-up meets. Consider the quality of efforts so far this year at the helm of the sport: Ippei Watanabe is not to be topped, the Japanese teenager’s world record of 2:06.67 over 200m breaststroke the obvious performance of the year but his pace is backed up by a turn of pace that includes 11 out of the 13 solo Olympic events among women being faster in the first 5 weeks of this year than they were in 2009 or the start of 1998 that featured the World Championships
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