Daiya Seto Hits Another 1:56 200 IM For Gold In Tochigi


  • September 17th – September 19th
  • Nikkan Arena, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results via JPN Media

Several of Japan’s 2020 Olympic team, including Daiya Seto, Rikako Ikee and Ryosuke Irie, put up some solid times while racing at a domestic meet last weekend.

Taking place at the Nikkan Arena, the swimming competition was one of several rehearsal events which were conducted this month as part of the overall 2022 Tochigi National Athletic Meet. The remaining sports, such as gymnastics and track and field, are scheduled for October.

This National Athletic Meet is the largest sports festival in Japan, held every year by prefecture since 1946. According to organizers, the purpose of the competition is to promote the health and physical strength of citizens, while also developing local culture.

Among the swimming highlights was a strong 200m IM performance by World Championships medalist Seto. The 28-year-old put up a time of 1:56.27 to not only take the gold here in Tochigi but come within .05 of the 1:56.22 mark he put up for 3rd place in Budapest.

Seto is still getting into a groove since joining forces with his new coach Takeshi Kato this past April. As a refresher, Kato was the coach of Rie Kaneto, Japan’s 200m breaststroke gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

On the backstroke front, Olympic finalist Ryosuke Irie punched a time of 53.00 to climb atop the men’s 100m backstroke podium in Tochigi. That mark also falls within striking distance of his World Championships performance. There in Budapest, the 32-year-old registered a time of 52.83 to ultimately place 7th in the event.

As for Ikee, the leukemia survivor scored silver in the women’s 100m freestyle, producing a time of 54.76. That fell just .04 shy of winner Nagisa Ikemoto who got to the wall first in a time of 54.72.

Ikee was also a member of the women’s 400m medley relay, whose final time of 4:01.28 established a new meet record.

Additional winners included Shinri Shioura taking the men’s 50m free in 22.19 while his domestic sprint rival Katsuhiro Matsumoto clocked 48.63 to earn the 100m free gold.

15-year-old Mia Narita clinched 4 individual golds, including winning the 200m IM in a time of 2:10.27. Narita won gold at this year’s FINA World Junior Championships in 2:11.68.

For perspective, Narita’s time would render the teen as the 2nd fastest American 15-16-year-old in history, sitting only behind Leah Hayes’ 2:08.91.

Yu Hanaguruma was the men’s 100m breaststroke gold medalist with a time of 59.71 while Tsuki Imai scored the women’s 1breast victory in 1:07.12 at the meet.

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2 days ago

53.00 seems so fast ita crazy to me that 52.8 got him 7th. Come a long way in a decade

Honest Observer
3 days ago

Incredible time by Narita. Is that a world best for 15-year-olds?

Reply to  Honest Observer
3 days ago

McIntosh plus multiple Chinese have been faster.

Scuncan Dott
Reply to  Honest Observer
3 days ago

Mcintosh, Ye Shiwen and Yu Yiting were faster when they were 15.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Honest Observer
3 days ago

ROTFL in Mackintosh and Shiwen

Shiwen swam 2:07 in London Olympics

Mackintosh swam 2:08 in this year’s Commonwealth Games

Last edited 3 days ago by Go Kamminga Go
Scuncan Dott
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
3 days ago

Shiwen was 16 at London btw, she went a 2:08.90 at 2011 Worlds when she was 15.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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