Daiya Seto’s Recap Of His 400 IM: “I Made A Mistake”


With the top 6 finishers all dipping under the 4:10 mark in today’s men’s 400m IM heats, reigning world champion Daiya Seto found himself out of the final in 9th place. Putting up a strong race through the beginning of the freestyle leg, the man let himself get passed by several swimmers to shockingly wind up sitting on the sidelines for the final.

Owning the fastest time in the world among the Olympians with a season-best of 4:09.02, 27-year-old Seto mustered a time of 4:10.52 here in Tokyo.

Seto conveyed post-race that he miscalculated the field in his pursuit of conserving energy in this earlier round in order to ‘swim firmly’ in the final.

“I thought I’d finish in 8th place but I misread the time needed to advance,” he said. “At the end, I misread the freestyle pace. It’s a shame because I’m in good shape.

“I’m sorry for the disappointing result. Frankly, I made a mistake.”

From a historical perspective, Seto’s not wrong in terms of what it has taken to make the men’s 400m IM final at major international competitions in recent years.

At the 2016 Olympic Games, it took 4:13.55 to make it into the top 8. The following year at the 2017 FINA World Aquatic Championships it took just 4:15.69 and the 2019 FINA World Championships saw a time of 4:15.24 as the minimum to move on.

Flash forward to Tokyo and a mark of 4:10.20, earned by Max Litchfield of Great Britain, ranked 8th among the talented field of heats swimmers. That is more than 3 seconds faster than Rio and 5 seconds faster than the most recent World Championships.

In fact, a 4:10.20 performance would have placed 4th at the 2016 Olympic Games, with the time beating Litchfield’s own 4:11.62 that captured 4th there in Rio.

For Seto, the dynamic swimmer will still have the opportunity to get on the podium in the 200m IM as well as the 200m fly and could potentially make an appearance on the men’s 4x200m free relay. He says he won’t make the same mistake again.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Time in 2020 he got banned by having an affair impacted on his last 100m so much.
He couldn’t train properly for sure at the time.

Wheel Snipe Seli
2 years ago

Reminds me of Brent Hayden, Beijing 2008. Look where we are now! Chin up buddy, the greats always find a way.

Billy mays
2 years ago

I think Phelps was pretty much the only person who could really pull it off.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Billy mays
2 years ago

Milak and Dressel can do it in the flys. Lily and Peaty in the 100 breast. McKeown can do it in back, especially the 200 back.

2 years ago

Still not even close to the biggest mistake he’s made this past year…😳

Big Kicker
Reply to  Deepblue
2 years ago

Looks like Seto finished in the wrong place again if you know what I mean

Reply to  Big Kicker
2 years ago

Goddamn this ones brutal lmao

Tea rex
2 years ago

I will admit: it is extremely hard to turn on the jets once you are in cool down mode. Even if he saw everyone bearing down the last 50, it’s hard to shift gears mid pool.

2 years ago

Frankly his freestyle technique looked awful. It was clear that he shut down his effort a bit on the first 50 of freestyle, but he clearly picked up the effort again on the final 50 as 4 swimmers caught up to him.

I believe him that he eased of the effort, but IDK what in the world was going on with his freestyle.

2 years ago

Especially when prelims are at night

2 years ago

I think comparing the 8th place time is appropriate but remember this year prelims are in the evening and not in the morning!

About Retta Race

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.

Read More »