Japan’s Watanabe breaks OR in 200 breast semis, two Americans advance

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Another Olympic record fell at the pool Tuesday night, as Japan’s Ippei Watanabe finished his semifinal heat of the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:07.22 to lead the eight qualifiers for Wednesday night’s final. Watanabe’s time was five tenths of a second better than that of the next-best qualifier, as Great Britain’s Andrew Willis finished in 2:07.72.

Qualifying third was Josh Prenot of the United States with a time of 2:07.78, and he was one of two Americans to qualify for the final with Kevin Cordes being the other. Japan will also have two swimmers in the final, with Yasuhiro Koseki joining Watanabe.

Watanabe failed to qualify for the semifinal heats in the 100 meter breaststroke, an event ultimately won by Great Britain’s Adam Peaty in world record time.