Milak Posts 1:53.7 200 Fly In Tokyo While Seto Tops 400 IM World Rankings


Although we’re awaiting splits and full results for day 3 of the inaugural Tokyo Open taking place at Tatsumi International Swimming Center, we know that 2 major head-to-head battles took place at the meet.

First, the men’s 400m IM saw reigning World Champion Daiya Seto and reigning Olympic Champion Kosuke Hagino put on a two-man race, although it wound up not even being that close between these top 2 finishers.

Seto posted a winning time of 4:10.04 to get his hand on the wall over 6 seconds ahead of his domestic rival Hagino, with the latter producing a silver medal-worthy swim of 4:16.86.

At this summer’s World Championships, Seto stopped the clock at 4:08.95 to top the podium in this event, just .27 ahead of runner-up Jay Litherland of the United States. Hagino did not compete in Gwangju, Korea, as the man was taking a mental and physical hiatus from the sport to recharge and refuel in his final push to Tokyo 2020.

Of his 400m IM tonight, Hagino stated that ‘although his physical strength is still not there yet, he wanted to win this race…he wanted to do his best.’ This mental predisposition is what Hagino calls ‘the starting line.’

Seto said he was happy to have his IM partner-in-crime back in a lane next to him after having not raced together since the spring. His time now represents the #1 mark in the world this season.

The second big-time race of the night came towards the end of the session in the men’s 200m fly, where the current long course World Record holder Kristof Milak of Hungary and the current short course World Record holder Seto duked it out.

Milak has already earned 3 golds here in Tokyo, taking the men’s 200m free, 400m free and 100m fly. Tonight, the 19-year-old World Champion produced a winning 2fly time of 1:53.75 to add another gold piece of hardware to his Tokyo Open collection. We will update with splits once available.

Taking on the tough 4IM/2fly double, Seto posted a solid 1:54.36 to take silver behind Milak this evening.

In Gwangju, Milak stunned the swimming world by logging a monster time of 1:50.73 to overtake American swimming icon Michael Phelps’ former World Record of 1:51.51 form 2009. At those World Championships, Seto clocked a time of 1:53.86 to snag the silver.

The pair’s times tonight represent the top 200m fly marks in the world this season.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
7 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Vin Beisel

Just as exciting as the ISL!

Olympic Dark sheep

Why compare this meet with ISL?
But it indeed seems that Japanese swimmers would rather be there than at ISL. Even Seto, who signed with ISL, skipped the ISL stop and raced in this meet.🤔

world class

Seto is not far from World Champs times here… This is somewhat normal for him, correct? I wonder if he and someone like Katinka (and even Hagino in his prime) train more race pace and that is why there is not as big of a drop at the biggest stages. Or was it just a bad performance in Korea and we should be expecting a 4:06?

I really don’t understand how Seto is not 4:05-4:06 with his Fly/ Breast speed alone not to mention Back and Free are almost world class as well. He should be in line for an “easy” 2 Golds and a Silver (or Bronze depending on Urlando), but I don’t actually confidently believe it will happen.

Ol' Longhorn

He was hurting on that 400 IM in Korea. And it had to be a letdown that his prime rival (Kalisz) didn’t even make the finals. He was just swimming to win. Wouldn’t be surprised if he drops a 4:05 at some point. One thing for sure is there’s no way he’s going to outwork peak Phelps or Lochte.

That 4:03 is still unbelievable, based on where we are now. That Seto could go 4:)5 and really not even be that close…boggles the mind.

beach bum j

What also is mind boggling to me is what Phelps times could have been in 2009-2012 if he was fully committed and fully trained. I wish we were able to see him at his 100% those years. I fully believe his current personal bests in 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 free, 100m fly, and 200 fly would have been much better!

world class

That doesn’t explain his 200 fly being “only” 1:53.8. Wasn’t he 1:54 multiple times in season. And has a SCM WR to his name with turns that surely couldn’t be better than Le Clos?

Olympic Dark sheep

Having 400 IM on the first day in Tokyo will also be to his advantage. He will be able to swim it fresh. In Gwangju he already had 200 fly and 200 IM before swimming 400 IM on the last day. He has the most grueling schedule than most (if not all) 400 IMers there.


Milak’s November time still would have earned gold at the Worlds.

Ol' Longhorn

Normally (pre-Milak), people would be going nuts over this swim.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!