Yu Hanaguruma earns silver in world championships debut

Yu Hanaguruma earned a silver medal in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in his world championships debut in on Thursday night.

Hanaguruma finished behind Zac Stubblety-Cook, who took the Olympic gold last year and smashed the world record last month. The Australian, known for his fast finishes, came from behind and touched in 2 minutes, 7.07 seconds.

The 22-year-old Hanaguruma and Sweden’s Erik Persson each recorded times of 2:08.38 to share the silver medal.

Like Stubblety-Cook, Hanaguruma was well behind the leaders at the 150-meter point, turning in sixth place, but surged on the final lap to reach the podium. Ryuya Mura finished fourth, 1.79 seconds off the pace.

“It is a bit disappointing that I couldn’t rewrite my personal record (of 2:07.99) but I’m relieved to be able to go home with a medal,” Hanaguruma said.

“It gives me a confidence boost ahead of the Paris Olympics.”

In the men’s 100 butterfly semifinal, Naoki Mizunuma improved his own national record in the men’s 100-meter butterfly with a time of 50.81 seconds, beating his previous best of 50.86. He clocked the second-fastest time to earn a place in Friday’s final.

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