• Kyodo News

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Hamamatsu, Junya Koga flirted with a world record time to win the men’s 100-meter backstroke final on the second day of the National Swimming Championships on Friday.

Koga clocked a national record of 53.55 seconds in the heats at Hamamatsu Swimming Center before hitting the wall in the final in 52.87, just 0.33 seconds outside the world record set by American Aaron Piersol at last year’s Beijing Games.

The 21-year-old Koga topped the qualifying standard time for a place at this summer’s FINA World Championships in Rome, as did Ryosuke Irie, who clocked 53.19 for second place.

Ken Takakuwa won the men’s 400-meter individual medley for the first time, touching home in 4 minutes, 12.41 seconds to rewrite the national record he had set earlier in the day in the heats.

Takeshi Matsuda also met the qualifying standard in winning the 200-meter butterfly crown with a time of 1:53.87. Ryoji Sononaka won his first 1,500-meter freestyle crown in a Japanese record of 15:04.91.

In women’s races, Aya Terakawa edged out Hanae Ito to win her first 100-meter backstroke title in seven years in 59.67 and Yui Miyamoto clinched her first 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.56.

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