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Teen Hasegawa wins again on European swim tour

Kyodo

Seventeen-year-old Suzuka Hasegawa won her second gold medal in the women’s 200-meter butterfly at Europe’s Mare Nostrum tour Sunday.

Hasegawa, who topped the podium in the same discipline in Monaco a week earlier in the first of the three-leg series, touched the wall in 2 minutes, 6.94 seconds in Canet-en-Roussillon, the last stop of the tour. The second leg was held in Barcelona.

“It’s huge being able to win overseas where the level is high. I’m on a tour like this for the first time and it has been a great experience,” Hasegawa said.

“I almost gave myself a perfect score in Monaco but today it was around 90 out of 100, because I wanted to improve my time. Honestly speaking, I was looking to log below 2:06.50.”

Sixteen-year-old Rikako Ikee, who won five events at the national championships in April, came second in the women’s 50 butterfly in 25.79 seconds, a day after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the 100 fly.

“I thought I had to bounce back given how bad I was yesterday so I’m happy to have placed second,” said Ikee.

In the men’s breaststroke, Yasuhiro Koseki won the silver in the 200 in 2:10.94 and third in the 50.

“It’s been the first Grand Prix in Europe in a while and I might have had the highest average (time),” said Koseki, whose time in the 200 breaststroke was better in Monaco.

“I’ll concentrate on training after returning to Japan in order to perform well in Hungary (at the world championships in July), hopefully eventually winning medals and logging good times.”