A 19-Year-Old Japanese Collegiate Marks New World Record in 200-M Breaststroke
Japan is known to excel in breaststroke and here's another evidence why so. A 19-year-old college student, Ippei Watanabe clocked 2:06:67 in men's breaststroke January 29 to mark this year's world record.
Watanabe, a sophomore from Oita prefecture, marked the record in the final race in breaststroke in the Tokyo Metropolitan Swimming Championships, January 29.
Atop his competitors in the first 50 meters, Watanabe swam on at an astounding speed he kept up through the rest of the race. He had finished 6th in the Rio Olympics and he has ever since then concentrated on building his leg muscles. He broke the record, 2:07:01, marked in 2012 by a high school 3rd grader Akihiro Yamaguchi by 0:34 second.
Watanabe was overjoyed having cleared the 2:07 line, adding:
"I was anxious to swim at least 2:07s but ended up at 2:06s. I still can't believe it.
"I was able to control myself in the first 50 meters, and through the rest of the race I tried to prove to myself what the months' of training since Rio should pay off.
"I wish to be a swimmer good enough to compete in international races. I want to break my own record this time at the world championships and eventually to better my best record at the Tokyo Olympics."
Ippei Watanabe is a 19-year-old college boy 1.93cm tall. He was less known in junior high days and only emerged as a hopeful at Saeki Kakujo High School when he broke the junior world record in the Youth Olympics.
His parents, resident in Tsukumi City, Oita, learned of the news via LINE from a parent of Ippei's teammate at Waseda University:
"Good job - I want to congratulate my son. He always says he is looking for a world record in the Tokyo Olympics. I sure hope he will make it."
A world record in breaststroke - what more can we ask for? (Nathan Shiga)