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Relay Mercy For Kitajima As JPN Names 31

Apr 16, 2013  - Craig Lord

Quadruple Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima has made the selection list for world titles in Barcelona - but only for the medley relay after Japan eased a tough qualification policy by deciding to field a quartet in all relays at the FINA showcase from July 19 to August 4. There is no place for Takeshi Matsuda in solo freestyle events but his Olympic results guarantee him a place in the 200m butterfly.

The busiest and most-watched athlete on the squad will be another Kosuke, Hagino, 18 and scheduled to race in the 200m and 400m freestyle, the 100 and 200m backstroke and the 200 and 400m medley. He may also race in two relays. 

The Japanese federation's selection policy was originally based on:

automatic selection in Olympic events for podium placers at London 2012

top two finish at nationals inside a time that is faster than the FINA A time

no selection for non-Olympic events

Points 1 and 2 are adhered to but the federation eased the standards in point 2 a touch after a meeting at the end of nationals to allow for a bigger team in Barcelona. Kitajima was still outside the time cut as winner of the 100m breaststroke but now makes the team based on his federation's wish to have quartets in all relays in Spain.

The Japan team stands at 31, 15 of them men, 16 women:

Solo Events:

  • Men
  1. Shinri Shioura, Freestyle
  2. Kenta Itoh, Freestyle
  3. Kosuke Hagino, IM, Freestyle, Backstroke
  4. Ayatsugu Hirai, Freestyle
  5. Yosuke Miyamoto, Freestyle
  6. Ryosuke Irie, Backstroke
  7. Ryo Tateishi, Breaststroke
  8. Akihiro Yamaguchi, Breaststroke
  9. Takeshi Matsuda, Butterfly
  10. Yuki Kobori, Butterfly
  11. Daiya Seto, IM
  • Women
  1. Aya Terakawa, Backstroke
  2. Sayaka Akase, Backstroke
  3. Satomi Suzuki, Breaststroke
  4. Rie Kaneto, Breaststroke
  5. Natsumi Hoshi, Butterfly
  6. Kanako Watanabe, IM
  7. Miho Teramura, IM
  8. Miyu Otsuka, IM
  9. Miho Takahashi, IM
  • For Relays only
  • Men
  1. Takuro Fujii
  2. Kenji Kobase
  3. Sho Sotodate
  4. Kosuke Kitajima
  • Women
  1. Haruka Ueda
  2. Miki Uchida
  3. Misaki Yamaguchi
  4. Yayoi Matsumoto
  5. Chihiro Igarashi
  6. Aya Takano
  7. Yasuko Miyamoto