GIFU – Schoolboy Akihiro Yamaguchi set a new world record in winning the men’s 200-meter breaststroke final on Saturday at the National Sports Festival.
Yamaguchi, 18, powered home in 2 minutes, 7.01 seconds at Nagaragawa Swimming Plaza, slicing 0.27 off the previous world mark set by Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta at the London Olympics.
The third-year high school student, who had earlier reached the final with a meet record, broke the national mark of former two-time 100 and 200 Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima had held for 11 years by 0.50.
“To be honest, I was aiming to go under 2.7,” said Yamaguchi. “I am looking forward to next year’s world championships (in Barcelona, Spain). I want to be a successor to Kitajima-san, a swimmer I look up to. I think I can cut it in the 200 at the world level and want to challenge in the 100, too.”