ROME – Japan’s Ryosuke Irie completed a double by winning the men’s 200-meter backstroke at the Seven Hills meet on Saturday.
Irie clocked a meet record of 1 minute, 55.05 seconds, to win the 200 following his victory in the 100 backstroke a day earlier. His time, however, was about one second off his mark of 1:54.02 set in January.
“I was hoping to go under 1:55,” said Irie, a favorite to win the gold medal at the London Olympics this summer. “I felt I had a good swim in the latter half of the race. I was able to stay relaxed and composed for the final 100.”
Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki touched second in 1:57.62 while Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus came third in 1:58.79.
Japan’s Aya Terakawa followed suit with a personal best 2:07.73 in the women’s 200 backstroke, the third-fastest time this year, after her win in the 100 backstroke on Friday. Russia’s Anastasia Zueva was second in 2:09.27 while third place went to Italian Alessia Filippi in 2:11.59.
“I’m not sure why but I was able to have a great swim today,” said Terakawa. “This was a great race, considering the fact that I have been busy racing and training. I felt my time in the final was a good reflection of where I am competitively.”
Izumi Kato cruised to victory in the women’s 200 individual medley in 2:13.64. Stefania Pirozzi (2:15.24) and Erica Buratto (2:15.78) of Italy were second and third, respectively.