Satoko Tanaka, The Japanese Pioneer Who Set A Record 10 200 Back World Marks

Satoko Tanaka - courtesy of the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Fourth places at the Olympic Games represent some of the painful moments in world sport. For Satoko Tanaka, just missing the podium in an Olympic 100m backstroke final in which she finished just 0.3sec away from what had been the world record going into the race at a home Games in Tokyo in 1964 denied one of the pioneers of backstroke pace the wider recognition she deserved. Tanaka had an Olympic bronze in the treasury from Rome 1960 when the home Games came round but the two-lap race was not her forte. Between July 1959 and September 1964, she broke the world record over 200m backstroke no fewer than 10 times, a record to this day

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