National Records Fall, Seto And Le Clos Hit 9th, 16th In Men’s 200 Fly Prelims


A number of national records went down during the prelims of the men’s 200 butterfly at the Tokyo Games including the Taiwanese,  Swiss, and Norwegian marks.

Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang swam his way to a 1:54.44 in 200 butterfly heats which was good enough for 2nd overall to Kristof Milak as well as a new national record. The swim for Wang was a fraction of a second off his own 1:54.77 which he swam at the 2021 National Intercollegiate Athletic Games in Tainan, Taiwan.

Wang will likely have another 2 chances to improve upon that record in the semi-finals and finals as he attempts to chase down top-seeded Kristof Milak. Milak hit a 1:53.58 during the prelims but seemed barely phased after the swim. Holding the world record at a 1:50.73 from 2019, Milak will be extremely tough to catch.

Swiss swimmer Noe Ponti also managed to shave some time off his own national record, getting down to a 1:55.05 in the heats compared to the 1:55.18 he hit at the recent 2021 European Championships. Ponti has seen incredible improvement in the 200 butterfly of late, having entered the season with a 1:58.96 PB from December 2019. He got down to a 1:56.58 by December 2020, then swam a trio of 1:55s at European Championships, and has now gotten right on the cusp of that coveted 1:55.00 barrier. Ponti’s swim was the 5th fastest time in the event, meaning that he will easily move on to the semi-finals.

A third national record that fell during the prelims was the Norwegian mark of 1:57.80 held by Tomoe Hvas. Hvas improved upon that 2019 swim by over a second, notching a 1:56.30 in the Olympic race. While he notched a new PB and NR, Hvas was a little bit too slow to move on to the next round of racing, finishing 19th overall.

Aside from those 3 national records, there were another few notable results in the men’s 200 butterfly prelims. Particularly, Daiya Seto raced his way to a 9th place finish in the event with a 1:56.26. That will be enough to get him into semis but he’ll need to improve in the next round if he wants to qualify for the final. Seto wound up with a surprise 9th place finish in the men’s 400 IM earlier on in the meet despite being the favorite to win.

Another man who was a bit off the mark during semis is South Africa’s Chad le Clos who was a 1:55.96 for 16th place. That’s far off from where le Clos has been in the past, having won Olympic gold in the event back in 2012 with a 1:52.96 South African record. That mark still stands today and le Clos has only been under 1:54 2 other times, once at the 2015 World Championships (1:53.68) and once at 2017 Worlds (1:53.33).

Le Clos followed his 2012 gold medal swim with a 4th place finish in 2016, hitting a 1:54.06 to trail Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi‘s 1:53.62 for bronze. Kendressi was also present during the prelims, notching a 1:55.18 for 8th place.

Tokyo 2020 Men’s 200 Butterfly Prelims

  1. Kristof Milak (HUN) – 1:53.58
  2. Kuan-Hung Wang (TPE) – 1:54.44
  3. Leonardo de Deus (BRA) – 1:54.83
  4. Zach Harting (USA) – 1:54.92
  5. Noe Ponti (SUI) – 1:55.05
  6. Tomoru Honda (JPN) – 1:55.10
  7. Federico Burdisso (ITA) – 1:55.14
  8. Tamas Kenderesi (HUN) – 1:55.18
  9. Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1:55.26
  10. Giacomo Carini (ITA) – 1:55.33
  11. Gunnar Bentz (USA) – 1:55.46
  12. Aleksandr Kudashev (ROC) – 1:55.54
  13. Krzysztof Chmielewski (POL) – 1:55.77
  14. Louis Croenen (BEL) – 1:55.78
  15. Leon Marchand (FRA) – 1:55.85
  16. Chad le Clos (RSA) – 1:55.96

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Lex Soft
1 month ago

Daiya Seto and those other Japanese swimmers, except Yui Ohashi, gave me false hope that affected my low score in the Pick’em contest. But, alright, I still have Tomoru Honda to make up for it.

Reply to  Lex Soft
1 month ago

Le Clos died harder than Morozov in the relay last night, no coming back from that I’m afraid. I was expecting more after going 1.48 and 48 in the ISL.

Lex Soft
Reply to  Lopez
1 month ago

I blame Morozov too, because I picked ROC in the top 3.
As for Le Clos, I didn’t pick him in the top 4 for 200m butterfly. I picked two Japanese behind Kristof Milak, and Tamas Kenderesi at 4th.

Reply to  Lex Soft
1 month ago

Well Seto does not seem very reliable also right now..

Reply to  Lex Soft
1 month ago

So anyone you expected to do well aren’t doing as well as you wanted so you have false hope? Please don’t tell me sato shoma gave you false hope from his reasonable 100 considering he’s not even a 100 swimmer

cynthia curran
1 month ago

That is good for Zach Harting if he can kept it up. When I found out he is not only batman but came from Huntsville Alabama era I like that since it does the rocketry and space stuff.

1 month ago

Tight field except for Milak – battle for silver and bronze will be a great race.