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Irie coasts to victory in backstroke

HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Ryosuke Irie blew away the field to win the men’s 200-meter backstroke at a qualifying meet for this summer’s world championships in Shanghai on Sunday.

Irie touched the wall at Hamamatsu Swimming Center in 1 minute, 54.08 seconds, adding to his victory in the 100 backstroke the previous day. Kazuki Watanabe came second, 3.13 seconds back.

Yuka Kato won the women’s 50-meter butterfly, banging out a national record in 26.07 to top the qualifying standard set by the Japan Swimming Federation to secure a berth at the July 16-31 worlds.

Satomi Suzuki followed up her win in the women’s 100 breaststroke a day earlier with victory in the 50 breast in a national record of 31.40, while Shiho Sakai emerged as the winner of the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:07.98.

Yuya Horihata also booked a spot in the worlds by winning the men’s 400 individual medley in 4:12.28 and Takeshi Matsuda won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:46.90.