Seto Hits 1:58 Exhibition 200 IM, Sato & Nakamura Rock Events (Race Videos)


The 92nd edition of the aquatic battle between Japan’s Waseda and Keio Universities took place today, August 28th, at Tokyo’s Tatsumi International Swimming Centre. Although the one-day affair was held sans spectators, plenty of action kept things interesting for those watching the live stream from home.

In addition to current student-athletes competing, such as World Junior Record holder Shoma Sato representing Keio, several alumni were in the mix to put on a show. Former world record holder Ippei Watanabe, national record holder Katsumi Nakamura and two-time world champion from Gwangju, Daiya Seto, were among them.

Waseda topped the overall battle at least in the swimming events at the end of the day, but here are highlights from both sides from this exciting annual dual.

Daiya Seto

  • Racing out of lane 7 in the men’s 200m IM as an exhibition swimmer, 26-year-old Seto produced a solid 200m IM effort of 1:58.62. Splits for the dad of 2 girls included 24.83/54.43/1:28.96 to give him the fastest time of the field, albeit without a medal.
  • At the Kitajima Cup in January, Seto threw down a massive 4:06.09 400m IM/1:55.55 200m IM combo to put other would-be Olympic contenders on notice. It was also at that meet the man logged a huge 1:52.53 200m fly. Seto competed the next month at the Konami Open, but has not raced since.
  • This dual meet represents his first racing appearance since switching coaches as well. Seto made the unexpected decision to change up coaches shortly after learning the Olympic Games were postponed.
  • As we reported in May, Seto selected somewhat of a curveball in 25-year-old Ryuichiro Ura, a former teammate who also trained under his previous coach Takayuki Umehara.

Shoma Sato

  • The 19-year-old breaststroke ace took gold in both the 100m and 200m distances here in Tokyo, beating aforementioned Watanabe in the sprint.  Watanabe did not compete in the 200m.
  • Sato clocked a 100m breast time of 1:00.01, while nailing a head-turning 2:08.38 in the longer distance. That sub-2:09 effort checks-in as the Keio University teen’s 2nd fastest time to-date.
  • World Junior Championships silver medalist Sato brought his 200m breast previous personal best of 2:09.21 down to a scorching 2:07.58 at January’s Kosuke Kitajima Cup to produce a new World Junior Record.

Katsumi Nakamura

  • The first Japanese man to ever break the 48-second barrier in the 100m freestyle event, Nakamura threw down some heat in his specialty event at this university dual.
  • Splitting 23.38/25.12, Nakamura registered an exhibition time of 48.50 to show his form after months without racing.
  • Nakamura owns a lifetime best and JPN national record of 47.87 in this event and also owns the 7 fastest performances ever for Japan. HIs 48.50 time here ranks as the nation’s 16th fastest performance in history.
  • Of note, Watanabe was alongside Nakamura, with the former 200m breast world record holder touching in 50.51.

Nao Horomura

  • Horomura clinched the 100m fly victory in a time of 52.35, taking the field by nearly 2 seconds.
  • Also in the race was the men’s 200m fly silver medalist from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Masato Sakai, who produced an exhibition effort of 55.39.

Hiroko Makino

  • The women’s 200m fly national champion Makino got it done for gold in the 100m fly.
  • She scorched the field in the only time under the minute barrier, producing a mark of 59.24.
  • Makina’s career-fastest is represented by the 58.33 she logged at the 2019 FINA World Championships where the 21-year-old finished in 16th place.

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1 year ago

Really hope Seto can get back his 1:56 form again

1 year ago

As one of the worlds biggest “JEAH” lochte fan, it goes without saying that Seto would have absolutely wiped the floor with the IM competition this year, and likely won silver 200 fly assuming Milak went within a second of his WR. Definitely hope that he’ll be in a similar form next summer. In ten years, this summer will definitely be up there with 1980/84 for bad times to athletically peak

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

Also sad that he has no one to push him in the IMs like the Lochte/Phelps rivalry. Chase is not in the picture anymore. It’s just Seto and the WR line.

Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes on you.

Oops, I meant Chase Kalisz.

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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.

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