Ippei Watanabe set a world record in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke on Jan. 29 in a meet in Tokyo, finishing in a time of 2 minutes, 6.67 seconds. The 19-year-old university student improved on the previous mark of 2:07.01 set by compatriot Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012. Watanabe set the record time in the final of the 200 breaststroke at the Tokyo metropolitan championships on Sunday.
A second-year student at Waseda University, Watanabe, 19, competed in the Rio Olympics where expectations were high that he would win a medal. However, he could only place sixth in the final.
At the Kosuke Kitajima Cup 2017 held at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Watanabe improved by 0.34 second, the previous world record held by Akihiro Yamaguchi of 2 minutes, 7.01 seconds, which was established in September 2012.
Watanabe set an Olympic record in the semifinals of the men’s 200-m event at Rio but faltered in the final.
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