Japan's swimming stars riding wave to London
After the Japan Olympic swimming trials in April, 27 swimmers were announced for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Many fine-tuned their Olympic preparation at the Japan Open 2012, held at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center (T-TISC ) from May 25 -27. Home hero Kosuke Kitajima did not attend the event but many of his teammates were on-hand: Ryo Tateishi, Ryosuke Irie, Takeshi Matsuda, Aya Terakawa, Natsumi Hoshi, Satomi Suzuki.
Ryo Tateishi clocked 2:09.07 in the 200m breaststroke, Ryo Irie 53.30 in the 100m backstroke and 1:54.80 in the 200m backstroke, Takeshi Matsuda touched home in 1:54.69 in the 200m butterfuly, Aya Terakawa established a new national record in the 100m backstroke (59.08) and swam the 200m backstroke in 2:07.84, Natsumi Hoshi's time in the 200m butterfly was 2:07.78 and that of Satomi Suzuki in the 200m breaststroke, 2:24.67. At the conclusion of the Japan Open, team captain Takeshi Matsuda spoke addressed his fans and the media: “We will do our very best to get as many medals as possible at the London Olympic Games."
The Japan Open was also a qualifying meet for the 5th Junior Pan Pacific Championships. Overall, 34 swimmers (14 boys and 20 girls) were selected for the event to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) from August 23-27, 2012. Daiya Seto (IM) and Akihiro Yamaguchi (breaststroke) will spearhead Japan's team to Hawaii.
14 Olympic hopefuls (6 women and 8 men) continued their preparation for this summer's Games, notably Kosuke Kitajima, Takeshi Matsuda and Natsumi Hoshi, at the 45th Annual Santa Clara International Swim Meet (USA), organised from May 31 to June 3.
Kosuke Kitajima clocked 2:13.25 in the men's 200m breaststroke, Takuro Fujii 52.79 and Takeshi Matsuda 52.84 in the men's 100m butterfly (Matsuda swam the 200m butterfly in 1:54.54) while in the women's events, Natsumi Hoshi touched home in 2:07.32 in the 200m butterfly.