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Yasunari HIRAI
Sport Open Water Swimming
NOC Japan   
GenderMen
Born02 Apr 1990 in Matsudo, JPN
Height1.75 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Tokyo, JPN
Languages
English, Japanese
Higher education
Economics, Political Studies - Meiji University: Tokyo, JPN
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up open water swimming in 2009.
Why this sport?
He was a freestyle swimmer but wanted to compete at international level. "I started doing open water because I wanted to leave my name in the history books."
International Debut
Year
2010
Competing for
Japan
General Interest
Nicknames
Yasu (yasunarihirai.jp, 17 Jun 2019)
Hobbies
Photography, fashion, martial arts. (yasunarihirai.jp, 17 Jun 2019; Instagram profile, 17 Jun 2019)
Awards and honours
He was given an Excellence Award at the 2016 Japan Aquatics Awards. (tobiuojapan.org, 30 Jan 2017)

In 2013 he received an Excellence Award from Chiba Prefecture in Japan. (pref.chiba.lg.jp, 11 Oct 2013)
Other sports
He represented Japan in swimming at the 2016 World Cup Short Course event in Berlin, Germany. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Aug 2017)
Milestones
He became the first Japanese male athlete to compete in open water swimming at the Olympic Games when he took part in the 10km event at the 2012 Games in London. (SportsDeskOnline, 04 Jun 2018)
Famous relatives
His younger brother Ayatsugu Hirai has competed in swimming at international level. (meisupo.net, 15 May 2019; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 21 Jan 2015)
Other information
RETIREMENT
In January 2020 he announced his retirement from open water swimming. (joc.or.jp, 19 Jan 2020; mainichi.jp, 06 Jan 2021)

 Competition Highlights
World Cup Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2016 Berlin, GER 1500m Freestyle 14:51.18
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
40 2017 Budapest, HUN 10km 1:54:52.9
33 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km 55:33.3
9 2017 Budapest, HUN 5km - Team Relay 55:54.0
11 2015 Kazan, RUS 10km 1:50:28.3
21 2013 Barcelona, ESP 10km 1:49:52.8
13 2013 Barcelona, ESP 5km - Team Time Trial 58:00.0
36 2011 Shanghai, CHN 10km 1:58:19.2
12 2011 Shanghai, CHN 5km 56:30.6
World Series
Rank Year Venue Event Result
36 2018   10km  
21 2018 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 1:56:40.10
10 2018 Doha, QAT 10km 1:53:07.6
14 2017   10km  
30 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:47:02.6
21 2017 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 1:53:29.8
13 2017 Lac St. Jean, QC, CAN 10km 1:57:10.9
8 2017 Lac-Mégantic, QC, CAN 10km 1:58:33.01
7 2017 Qiandaohu, CHN 10km 1:31:57.2
16 2017 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:30:23.40
25 2016 Abu Dhabi, UAE 10km 1:48:16.80
37 2016 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 1:53:46.05
6 2015 Balatonfüred, HUN 10km 1:41:50.76
25 2015 San Miguel de Cozumel, MEX 10km 1:42:37.01
5 2015 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:55:02.10
8 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 10km 1:56:18.4
48 2013 San Miguel de Cozumel, MEX 10km 2:04:42.50
35 2012 Cancún, MEX 10km 2:04:31.83
9 2011 Setúbal, POR 10km 1:40:52.5
Asian Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2017 Putrajaya, MAS 5km 1:00:28.9
Pan Pacific Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2014 Maui, HI, USA 10km 1:56:00.0