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Takeshi Matsuda rewrote a national record in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle when he clocked 15 minutes, 9.52 seconds in a qualifying race at the National Championships on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Matsuda from Chukyo University eclipsed the previous record of 15:14.43 set by Masato Hirano at the Sydney Olympics and advanced to Friday’s final also held at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center.

Later, Yoshihiro Okumura secured his ticket to this summer’s Athens Olympics by claiming his second title in the men’s 200-meter freestyle.

The 20-year-old 2003 University Games gold medalist rewrote his own national record by powering home in a time of 1 minute, 48.87 seconds ahead of Yuji Sakurai (1:50.01) and Sho Uchida (1:50.64).

In women’s races, Reiko Nakamura (1:00.98) and two-time Olympian Noriko Inada (1:01.39) both qualified for Athens after a 1-2 finish in the 100-meter backstroke final.

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