Swimmer Watanabe Reveals Lower Body Training Helped Him Break World Record

Swimmer Watanabe reveals lower body training helped him break world recordSuper swimmer Ippei Watanabe -- who smashed the 200-meter breaststroke world record in Tokyo on Jan. 29 -- has revealed that improved lower body strength was a key factor behind breaking the world record.
The 19-year-old swimmer, who managed to chalk up an unprecedented time of 2 minutes and 6.67 seconds during the Kosuke Kitajima Cup at Tatsumi International Swimming Center in Tokyo, decided to work on his lower body strength following the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Despite still only being 19 years old, Watanabe has developed a reputation for pulling off impressive arm strokes during breaststroke races. However, the youngster was somewhat dissatisfied -- and he wanted to do more to improve his all-round technique. He set about strengthening the lower half of his body following the Rio Olympics -- having finished in sixth place there, outside the medal places, in the men's 200-meter breaststroke final.

By paying more attention to the kicking aspect of his technique, Watanabe feels that he can use his body energy more efficiently whenever he is involved in a race. The new approach seems to have worked, as the swimming community observed on Jan. 29. However, the particularly exciting aspect of Watanabe's new training regimen is that it is still only in the developmental stages. By refining his lower body training even further, who knows what the future will hold.

The coach of the Japan national swimming team, Norimasa Hirai, believed that, "It was only a question of time before the world record would be broken." On Jan. 29, Watanabe successfully achieved this goal, in Tokyo, but as he looks ahead, the swimmer says, "I want to become a swimmer who can break records on the world stage."

The next event where this could happen is at the World Championships in July 2017.