Home Swimming Pool Swim of the Week: Shoma Sato’s 2:06.40 In 200 Breaststroke

Swim of the Week: Shoma Sato’s 2:06.40 In 200 Breaststroke


Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

19-year-old Shoma Sato is ready for his home nation to host the 2020 Olympics (in 2021).

In Japan’s sole Olympic qualifying meet, Sato crushed the second-fastest 200 breaststroke of all-time, going 2:06.40 to blow out one of the best national breaststroking fields on the planet.

Sato dropped nearly four tenths of a second off his lifetime-best from earlier in the season. His 2:06.40 ranks him #2 all-time and just three tenths from Anton Chupkov‘s world record:

Top LCM 200 Breaststroke Performers All-Time:

  1. Anton Chupkov (RUS) – 2:06.12, 2019
  2. Shoma Sato (JPN) – 2:06.40, 2021
  3. Matt Wilson (AUS) – 2:06.67, 2019
  4. Ippei Watanabe (JPN) – 2:06.67, 2017
  5. Arno Kamminga (NED) – 2:06.85, 2020

Sato has now been 2:06 on three separate occasions and owns three of the eight fastest swims in history.

For what felt like many years, no swimmer could break the 2:07-barrier, though many approached it. Now, 2:06 has become a common occurrence, with a crowded field hunting Chupkov’s world record at this summer’s Olympics.