SWIMMING AT THE 2018 ASIAN GAMES
The Japanese team of Naito Ehara, Reo Sakata, Kosuke Hagino and Katsuhiro Matsumoto broke the Asian Games Record to win gold in the men’s 800 free relay to finish off day 2 finals in Jakarta, as they held off the Chinese team (7:05.47) in 7:05.15.
The swim broke their 2014 record of 7:06.74, with Hagino the only returning member from that team. Japan has now won this relay 16 times at the Asian Games, with the only non-Japanese win coming in 2010 when China claimed gold.
The race was fairly close early, but Hagino gave Matsumoto a bit of a lead heading into his anchor leg against Sun Yang. Matsumoto was very aggressive on the front-end, splitting 23.44 and 50.14 at the 50 and 100 walls, and managed to hold off Sun on the last 50 by just three-tenths.
Japan’s swim was much quicker than they were recently at the Pan Pacific Championships, where they won bronze in 7:08.07. Their 7:05.15 moves them ahead of European Championship medalists Great Britain (7:05.32), Russia (7:06.66) and Italy (7:07.58), and puts them 3rd in the world behind Pan Pac gold and silver medalists U.S. and Australia.
The Singaporean team won bronze in 7:14.15, breaking their National Record. They were led by Zheng Wen Quah, who led them off in 1:48.31, and Joseph Schooling, who had a very impressive split of 1:46.66 swimming second.
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