Atsushi Nishikori, a gold medalist in last fall’s Asian Games, broke Japan’s oldest swimming record in the semifinal of the men’s 100-meter backstroke at the swimming National Championships Thursday.

The 24-year-old Nishikori clocked 54.54 seconds in the semifinal at Tokyo’s Tatsumi International Swimming Center to shave 0.51 second off the record Daichi Suzuki set when he won the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

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