CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON, FRANCE – Kosuke Hagino won the men’s 400-meter individual medley and 200 backstroke on Wednesday in the second of three meets in Europe’s Mare Nostrum tour.
Hagino logged 4 minutes, 9.52 seconds in the 400 IM, his best event. Hoping to swim 4:10 or better, he beat that time by 0.48 seconds. Hagino won the 200 backstroke in 1:58.29, and came third in the 200 freestyle (1:47.69) as his preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics gathered speed.
“It was a stimulating day, I feel I’m getting stronger,” the 21-year-old said. “I swam with spirit. The real challenge starts here.”
In the women’s events, 19-year-old Kanako Watanabe was second in both the 100 breaststroke (1:07.75) and 200 individual medley (2.11:54) despite both finals being held within 10 minutes of each other.
“It was the first experience to swim in such a short break but it wasn’t as tough as I expected,” she said. “I hope to improve my form gradually.”