2022 KOSUKE KITAJIMA CUP
- Friday, January 21st – Sunday, January 23rd
- Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, Tokyo, Japan
- LCM (50m)
- Day 1 Recap
After a feisty 1:53.87 200m butterfly performance from Olympic silver medalist Tomoru Honda to kick off this 2022 Kosuke Kitajima Cup yesterday, day two was on the more subdued side.
We still were able to catch 21-year-old Rikako Ikee snag her first gold of this annual competition, following up on her 200m freestyle silver from last night.
Today, Renaissance’s Ikee produced a winning effort of 54.64 in the 100m freestyle, getting to the wall .29 ahead of runner-up Chihiro Igarashi who touched in 54.93. Rounding out the top 3 was Nagisa Ikemoto, although the teen was well back in 55.44.
As for her 54.64 outing here, it’s a promising creep toward her lifetime best and Japanese national record of 52.79 from 4 years ago. This early in the long course season, the swim ranks as her 6th fastest from returning to racing in late 2020 after battling leukemia.
In her comeback, Ikee’s 100m free best was the 53.98 she logged at the Japanese Olympic Trials in April of 2021, good enough to clinch her spot on the nation’s women’s 4x100m free relay which ultimately placed 9th.
This competition marks the two-time Olympian’s second racing opportunity of 2022, having already competed at the Tokyo Metro’s New Year Meet. In that short course affair, Ikee logged wins in both the 100m and 200m free.
- The aforementioned Honda did get win #2, capturing the 400m IM on the men’s side in 4:12.36. That’s less than half a second off of his own personal best of 4:12.05 from October 2021.
- Katsumi Nakamura made some waves in the men’s 100m freestyle event, capturing gold in a time of 48.43, the only time of the field under the 49-second threshold. Splitting 23.44/24.99, the 27-year-old put up the 9th fastest time of his career, one which boasts the current Japanese national record of 47.87 from 2018.
- With reigning Olympic gold medalist Yui Ohashi out of the picture in the women’s 400 IM event here, Waka Kobori turned it on for a victory in 4:38.90. That’s a big-time personal best for the 21-year-old double World University Games gold medalist, with her previous career-quickest resting at the 4:43.35 she posted just in June of last year. As such, Kobori now becomes Japan’s 9th fastest woman ever in the event with tonight’s result.
- Mainstay Ryosuke Irie doubled up on his 100m back gold from night 1 with another top prize in the 200m back, hitting 1:56.36 with ease.