Swimmer Hagino fails in six-title bid at nationals
Kosuke Hagino of Japan competes in the men's 200m individual medley final at the FINA Swimming World Cup Tokyo meet on November 10, 2013 - by Kazuhiro Nogi
London Olympics bronze medallist Ryosuke Irie beat Hagino in the 100m backstroke race after Hagino earlier Friday won his second title of the 2014 meet in the 200m freestyle.
Irie, 24, who won the 100m backstroke bronze medal and the 200m backstroke silver medal in London, clocked 52.57 seconds, 0.11 faster than Hagino.
Irie had also prevented Hagino, 19, from winning a sixth title at last year's nationals when he triumphed in the younger rival's final race, the 200m backstroke.
Hagino, the 400m individual medley bronze medallist at London 2012, still ended with five titles last year, a national record.
On Thursday, Hagino won the 400 individual medley national title for the third straight year.
"I still have a lot of work to do on such pinpointed skills as starts and turns. I did not swim well as a whole," said Hagino, who tasted defeat only 20 minutes after winning the 200m freestyle.
"The result showed what I am capable of doing," said Hagino, who won the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley silver medals at last year's world championships.
"Mr. Irie was fast. I want to cling to him in the 200m (backstroke) as well," said Hagino, who is aiming to win the 400m medley gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in a world record time.
Hagino is set to race in the 400m freestyle and the 200m medley on Saturday before wrapping up his nationals campaign in the 200m backstroke on Sunday.
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