2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, February 4th – Sunday, February 7th
- Tokyo Aquatics Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entry List (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Prelims
- Live Stream
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.
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.