Kosuke Hagino exacted swift revenge over Daiya Seto to win the men’s 200-meter individual medley at the Japan Open on Sunday.
A night after he was beaten by Seto in the 400 IM, the Rio Olympic champion touched in 1 minute, 56.30 seconds at Tatsumi International Swimming Center, completing the race more than a full second ahead of Seto, who clocked 1:57.76.
“I couldn’t end like that so (I) turned defiant,” Hagino, who had right elbow surgery after the Rio Olympics, said after winning his first race of the three-day meet. “It’s been an event where I was given a good opportunity to have a look at where I’m weak.”
Seto said, “Kosuke had a different zeal to him today. … It was a dismal defeat. I was too conscious of the outcome of the race and overstrained myself.”
World record holder Ippei Watanabe won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:07.77, while Yasuhiro Koseki was third.
“I wasn’t ahead of my pace but still managed to lead while being composed,” said Watanabe, who received a memorial plate for the world record he set in January unveiled at the starting block before the final at the venue.
“It’s nice that I can swim looking at my plate from now on. I’ll aim for the podium along with Koseki to keep others off our trademark event in July’s worlds.”
In women’s action 16-year-old Rikako Ikee won the 100 butterfly in 57.65. Yui Ohashi took the 200 IM in 2:10.66, with Runa Imai taking third in that event.
“I’m frustrated not to record a single new personal record,” Ikee, who has been working on her strength, said after ending the meet with four titles. “I’m sure personal bests will follow if I keep improving where I’m lacking.”
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