TOKYO (AP) — Teenager Ippei Watanabe set a world record in the men’s 200m breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes, 06.67 seconds on Sunday.
The 19-year-old university student improved on the previous mark of 2:07.01 set by compatriot Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012. Watanabe set the record time in the final of the 200m breast at the Tokyo metropolitan championships.
“I’m very surprised, I didn’t think I could break a world record,” Watanabe said. “I want to become a swimmer who can keep breaking records.”
Watanabe competed in the men’s 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics but didn’t qualify for the final. He also broke the Olympic record for the men’s 200m breaststroke during the semifinal in Rio before finishing sixth in the final.
Watanabe won the 200m breast gold medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics. He qualified for the Rio Games by finishing runner-up in the 200m breast final with a time of 2:09.45 at the national championships in 2016.Follow @nbcolympictalk