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

2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES

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.

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hafl1
2 months ago

He should have been dq’d anyways, watch the breast pull outs. 2 dolphin kicks, the 2nd was not a body wave!

The Kraken
2 months ago

Always tough to see the greats fall

Swammerstein
2 months ago

Its not like he went a slow time either, that was a pretty tight prelims. Still, he shouldve finished higher in his heat to be safe

Marklewis
2 months ago

Why would he want to be in 8th place?

I think he was caught off guard by the other swimmers who really picked it up the pace on the final 50.

Jay Litherland, on the other hand, knew exactly what was happening and made sure not to get left behind. Smart guy.

Bill
Reply to  Marklewis
2 months ago

Jay – DGD

Anonymoose
Reply to  Marklewis
2 months ago

idk man.
i feel like litherland just gets lucky, and then again, and then again, and then again..

50free
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 months ago

Ya it’s called getting ur hand all the wall first…..almost like it’s a race or something

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 months ago

I feel that comment doesn’t give enough credit to why he’s in the final. I’m pretty sure he works his butt off in order to be that lucky.

Last edited 2 months ago by BearlyBreathing
DCC Parent
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 months ago

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 months ago

I wonder if you think the same of Michael Phelps, who was on the right side of plenty of tight finishes throughout his career.

At some point, it’s not luck anymore…

Backstrokebro
Reply to  Anonymoose
2 months ago

I will not have any litherland slander in this SwimSwam comment section #lithergang #simpforjay

Piotr
2 months ago

This isn’t too convincing, what does it even mean that he misread a time good enough to qualify as 8th? He was doing advanced math on the last 50m?

That being said, 4.10 isn’t a bad time, to say the least, so he may indeed be in a shape good enough to get some medal.

Li Shu
Reply to  Piotr
2 months ago

I think it got a bit lost in translation. He means more along the lines “I assumed the qualifying time was going to be like Rio or WC’s 8th: ie. 4:13-4:15, so my 4:10 should have been fine. I misread how the field was going to turn out.”

Honest Observer
2 months ago

I can believe that he’s in good shape, as he says (even if breaking 4:03.8 was never quite in the cards). And his plan to come down from altitude at the last moment sounded like a good one, especially right before the 400IM. But if he saw that the field was gaining on him so much at the 350, why couldn’t he respond? He’s been something like a 1:46.6 200 LCM free (I could be off, but not by much), and you’d think that coming off that final turn he’d have turned on the afterburners. But he seemed to have no answer.

Sqimgod
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 months ago

Nah he’s never been under 1:47.5 in 200 free

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Sqimgod
2 months ago
Swimmerb
Reply to  Sqimgod
2 months ago

U r completely wrong

Riccardo
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 months ago

Splits in the IM are just different. It’s hard to judge.

There are a lot of guys that swim the 4 IM who can probably beat Jay in a 100 or 200 free but basically no one who can beat him on the last 100 in a 400 IM when he’s at his best.

Same goes for Chase on the breaststroke.

HJones
Reply to  Riccardo
2 months ago

Chase’s breaststroke split is devastating. It takes someone who goes a 58.1 in the 100 BR (MA) to out-split him in the 200 IM.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Honest Observer
2 months ago

30.97 last 50. That’s like MA-esque.

Sophie
2 months ago

Let’s just hope he can redeem himself in the 200IM and 200Fly then (especially since I accidentally put him as my number 1 pick in the 200fly for my pick ’em)!

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Sophie
2 months ago

“I made a mistake” moment

Billy
2 months ago

He ran out of fuel on the last 50, it was obvious.

Coach
Reply to  Billy
2 months ago

I thought he really tightened up the last 25 as well. Clearly he knows more about what happen than I do, but I hate that he’s not in the final.

Last edited 2 months ago by Coach
Ghost
Reply to  Billy
2 months ago

The same as Carson in Omaha!

Jonnyd
Reply to  Billy
2 months ago

Correct

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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