Daiya Seto Is Back, Enters Top 5 Men’s 400 IM Rankings

2021 JAPAN OPEN

In the first head-to-head battle in over a year between men’s 400m IM Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino and Olympic bronze medalist Daiya SetoSeto came out on top in a big way.

Racing in his first competition since having been suspended due to his ethics code violation stemming from an extramarital affair, 26-year-old Seto put up a solid 400m IM time of 4:12.57 to top the men’s field here on day 1 of the 2021 Japan Open.

After establishing himself as the 2nd seeded swimmer out of the morning heats with an AM swim of 4:14.98, the two-time 2019 world champion sliced another 2+ seconds off to land atop the podium in 4:12.57.

Splits for Seto’s gold medal-winning swim included the following:

Although this result sits well outside his lifetime best of 4:06.09 put up around this same time last year, the man’s effort is a very encouraging sign of where his training is at this point in time. By way of his gold medal-winning performances in the 200m IM and 400m IM in Gwangju, Seto has already sealed his Olympic qualification, which means the pressure of merely making his nation’s team in these events has been lifted, giving him a little leeway to hone his craft.

As for Hagino, he settled into 6th place in tonight’s final, posting a casual 4:16.38. Hagino has already been as fast as 4:13.32 as of last December’s Japan Swim, an outing which rendered him as the 4th fastest performer in the world. He now gets bumped to slot #6 (due to Ikari below) as Seto’s swim tonight now ranks him #3 for the season worldwide.

2020-2021 LCM Men 400 IM

DaiyaJPN
Seto
04/03
4:09.02
2Chase
Kalisz
USA4:09.0906/13
3Lewis
Clareburt
NZL4:09.8704/05
4Ilya
Borodin
RUS4:10.0205/23
5Brendon
Smith
AUS4:10.0406/12
6Jay
Litherland
USA4:10.3306/13
7Carson
Foster
USA4:10.5006/13
8Alberto
Razzetti
ITA4:11.1705/23
9Bobby
Finke
USA4:11.4406/13
10Max
Litchfield
GBR4:11.5605/23
View Top 26»

Not to be missed is the fact that 20-year-old Yuki Ikari raced his way to the silver, producing a time less than half a second away from Seto.

Ikari registered a time of 4:12.91 for the runner-up spot, falling only .37 away from his lifetime best of 4:12.54. That outing was logged at the 2019 World University Games (Summer Universiade), where Ikari took the gold in this men’s 400m IM event. Ikari is now 4th in the world this season.

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Seto 200/400 IM Gold in Tokyo
4 months ago

Seto is a beast. I’m glad that he’s in shape.

The unoriginal Tim
4 months ago

Glad Seto is back. Great performances over the past 4 years and I hope to see him fulfill his potential with gold this summer.

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
4 months ago

4:16.38 as sixth place? Wow, great depth.

Waader
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
4 months ago

Yeah, numbers 3 to 8 in the world rankings of the 400m IM are all japanese.They have 6 swimmers in the 4:12.5 to 4:14.3 range. If Seto wasn’t qualified already he should’ve been worried.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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