Japan’s Kosuke Hagino rated his performance at the Asian Games as 50 to 60 on a scale of 100, not fully satisfied after winning four gold medals and seven medals overall at the competition.
“Four golds are the maximum I could get at these Games,” Hagino said Friday, according to Xinhua News Agency. “Having said that, there were many things that I wasn’t so satisfied with. If it’s a 100 scale, I would give myself 50 to 60 points.”
Hagino, 20, lamented finishing second behind China’s Olympic and World champion Sun Yang in the 400m freestyle and third behind countryman Ryosuke Irie in the 100m and 200m backstrokes. Irie is joint-fastest in the world this year in the 100m back and No. 1 alone in the 200m back.
“I have a lot to improve,” Hagino said, according to Xinhua.
If Hagino continues to speed up, he could be favored to win more individual-event medals than any other athlete at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
These are his event-by-event world ranking progressions from 2012 to 2014, via FINA and SwimVortex.com:
200m individual medley — 5-2-1
400m individual medley — 4-1-1
200m backstroke — 6-5-2
200m freestyle — 72-8-2
100m backstroke — NR-4-4
400m freestyle — 27-3-5
No swimmer has won six individual medals at a single Olympics. Michael Phelps won eight medals each at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, five coming in individual events both times.
Hagino made the finals of six events at the 2013 World Championships and won two silver medals.
However, he would appear unlikely to swim all six events at the Rio Olympics, because the 400m individual medley and the 400m freestyle finals are typically on the same night, the opening night, and within a half-hour of each other. They are not on the same night at the World Championships.
Phelps and Ryan Lochte have been known to swim two Olympic events in the same night, but never totaling 800 meters.
Even if Hagino swam five individual Olympic events rather than six, his chances of matching Phelps with eight medals at a single Games are very low because Japan does not excel in the three relays like the U.S. does.
Japan made the podium in the 4x100m medley relay at the last three Olympics but has not won a medal in the 4x200m free relay since 1964 and hasn’t won a medal period in the 4x100m free relay.