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Swimming: Japan secures 2020 Olympic berths in 4x100 freestyle relays

Japan's Rika Omoto, top, starts in her heat of the women's 200m individual medley at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, on July 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

GWANGJU, South Korea (Kyodo) -- The Japanese men's and women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay teams each secured 2020 Olympic berths at the swimming world championships on Sunday.

    Japan finished ninth and fifth in the respective men's and women's 4x100 qualifier in Gwangju, South Korea to earn one of the Tokyo 2020 spots granted to the top 12 teams.

    The Japanese women's team of Rika Omoto, Tomomi Aoki, Aya Sato and Rio Shirai set a new national record of 3 minutes, 36.17 seconds to finish fifth and advance to the finals held later this afternoon.

    The men's team, composed of Katsumi Nakamura, Shinri Shioura, Katsuhiro Matsumoto and Akira Namba, failed to reach the final after landing in ninth with a time of 3:14.16.

    Omoto also finished fifth in the women's 200 medley with 2:10.50 and advanced to the semifinals along with 2017 world silver medalist Yui Ohashi, who clocked 2:11.09 for ninth.

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