TOKYO: Japanese swim star Shoma Sato clocked the second-fastest 200m breaststroke time ever on Wednesday — then set his sights on claiming the world document and the gold on the Tokyo Olympics.
Sato blazed residence in 2min 6.40sec at Japan’s Olympic trials to guide his spot at this summer time’s coronavirus-postponed Video games, setting a brand new nationwide document within the course of.
His time was simply 0.28 off the world mark of two:06.12 set by Russia’s Anton Chupkov on the 2019 world championships.
Sato believes he can declare the document when he makes his Olympic debut this summer time, however the 20-year-old’s first precedence is successful gold in the identical Tokyo pool.
“I received a glimpse of the world document, and I wish to hold aiming for that,” mentioned Sato, including that there’s “no level” in pondering an excessive amount of about his rivalry with Chupkov.
“However crucial factor is to win the gold medal on the Video games,” he mentioned. “I wish to do this no matter what time I get.”
Sato certified together with Ryuya Mura, who completed second in a time of two:07.58.
Sato missed out on a spot within the Olympic 100m breaststroke earlier this week after failing to make the qualifying time.
However an enormous efficiency was all the time on the playing cards within the 200m, after he served discover of his expertise by clocking the world’s fourth-fastest time ever in January.
“I used to be feeling good within the afternoon, so I assumed I would get a quick time,” he mentioned.
Sato and Mura completed forward of former world document holder Ippei Watanabe, who clocked 2:08.30 and missed out on an Olympic berth.
Watanabe held the document till it was damaged by Australian Matt Wilson — in the future earlier than Chupkov took it from him.
“I gave it my all and that is the most effective I might do, so to get third with this time, it simply reveals that I wasn’t mentally prepared,” mentioned a visibly disillusioned Watanabe.
Leukaemia survivor Rikako Ikee stepped up her hunt for a person place on the Video games by reaching the ultimate of the 100m freestyle, and can even make Japan’s 4x100m freestyle relay group if she finishes within the prime 4.
Ikee, who certified for a spot in Japan’s medley relay group after successful the 100m butterfly on Sunday, completed in 54.36 — the quickest general time of the semis.
She will be able to guide her place within the particular person occasion if she finishes the ultimate within the prime two and beats the qualification time.
“I am going into the race questioning if I can meet the qualifying time or not,” mentioned Ikee, who solely resumed coaching a 12 months in the past after being identified with leukaemia in February 2019.
“Fairly truthfully, I might be fairly blissful to scrape residence in fourth,” she mentioned. “I am simply trying ahead to it with out worrying an excessive amount of.”