ASIA: Even Without Hagino and Ikee, Japan Improves in Gold Medals vs. 2017


The 2019 FINA World Championships concluded tonight in Gwangju. Asian swimmers brought home 3 more medals on the final night of competition. The first of those was a gold for Japan. Daiya Seto, who won the 200 IM earlier in the meet, completed an IM sweep as he won 400 IM gold tonight. With his wins at this meet, Seto automatically met Japan’s qualifying standards for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and can now take the full year rest assured he has his spot on the team. He also became the first Japanese man to ever sweep the IMs at a World Championships.

The women’s 400 IM saw 2 more medals earned for Asia. China’s Ye Shiwen took the silver, just a nail ahead of Japan’s Yui Ohashi who took bronze. Ye earned her first major international medal since 2012 at this meet when she won silver in the 200 IM and has now added to that with a silver in both IMs. Her time tonight was the fastest she’s been since 2014 by far.

Notably, Japan’s result on the final medal table was an improvement from 2017 in terms of golds, even without star Olympians Kosuke Hagino and Rikako Ikee. Hagino, the reigning Olympic 400 IM champion, has taken a break from swimming to recover from injury and take care of his mental health. He’s just returned to swimming full time to set his sights on the Tokyo Olympics. Ikee, a 100 fly Olympic finalist and multi-time World Junior Champion, has been battling Leukemia. Ikee was the 100 fly champion at last summer’s Pan Pacs.


Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
China 3 2 2 7
Japan 2 2 2 6

Though they had one less medal this year than in 2017 (6 in 2019 compared to 7 at the last Worlds), Japan improved on their golds total. They didn’t win any events in 2017, while Seto earned them 2 golds with his IMs this summer.

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Texas Tap Water

I’m a huge fan of Daddy Daiya


Same here.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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