Seto Tops Honda In Men’s 400m IM Battle To Kick Off Japan Open

2022 JAPAN OPEN

The 2022 Japan Open began today from Tokyo with the men’s 400m IM taking center stage.

Olympians Daiya Seto and Tomoru Honda dueled all the way to the wall in the neck-and-neck battle, with 28-year-old Seto ultimately winding up on top. Seto touched in 4:10.14 to Honda’s 4:10.93 with So Ogata rounding out the top 3 in 4:12.24.

The pair of Seto and Honda played it cool in the morning heats, with the latter capturing the #2 seed in a time of 4:13.41. Seto landed in the 5th slot in 4:17.37. Come tonight’s final, however, the duo turned it on to make it a 2-man contest.

Honda unleashed an opening 100m of 54.76 to lead Seto by over a second after the fly leg. Seto continued to trail until breaststroke where the versatile ace outsplit Honda 1:09.41 to 1:11.59. Seto held on to the end and snagged gold by just under a second.

This is Seto’s 2nd consecutive national title in this men’s 400m IM, as he also topped the podium at the Japanese Short Course Championships this past October in a time of 4:00.70. Honda did not race the event at that competition.

Seto and Honda now easily check in as the top 2 long course swimmers in the world rankings on the season.

2022-2023 LCM Men 400 IM

ChaseUSA
Kalisz
12/02
4:10.09
2Daiya
Seto
JPN4:10.1412/01
3Tomoru
Honda
JPN4:10.9312/01
4Tomoyuki
Matsushita
JPN4:12.2001/22
5So
Ogata
JPN4:12.2412/01
View Top 26»

Of note, Seto has won the men’s 400m IM event at the past five editions of the FINA Short Course World Championships, meaning he’ll be gunning for title #6 in Melbourne this month.

Also making some noise tonight was Takeshi KawamotoTaking on the men’s 50m butterfly, 27-year-old Kawamoto clocked a time of 23.26. That result sits just .09 outside of his own national record of 23.17, a time he produced in April of 2021.

Kawamoto now wears the world rankings crown, becoming the first swimmer to delve into sub-24 second territory in the men’s 50m fly this season.

2022-2023 LCM Men 50 Fly

2Kota
Akahane
JPN23.4412/01
3Ben
Proud
GBR23.5001/27
4Yuya
Tanaka
JPN23.6012/01
5Ben
Armbruster
AUS23.6612/15
View Top 26»

Katsuhiro Matsumoto was in the water as well, earning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. Matsumoto posted the only sub-49 second time of the field, winning the event in 48.77. That held a healthy advantage over runner-up and national record holder Katsumi Nakamura, with Nakamura securing silver in 49.30.

Reona Aoki made it happen in the women’s 100m breast, winning the top prize in a time of 1:06.11. Although that’s well off her own personal best of 1:05.19 from this past spring,  it was enough to beat tonight’s field by nearly one second.

Aoki now sits atop the world rankings in this women’s 100m breast event, overtaking previous leader Macarena Ceballos‘ (ARG) time of 1:06.71.

2022-2023 LCM Women 100 Breast

TessNED
Schouten
12/04
1:06.09
2Reona
Aoki
JPN1:06.1112/01
3Mona
McSharry
IRL1:06.8001/12
4Sophie
Hansson
SWE1:06.9501/29
5Yukino
Miyasaka
JPN1:07.0412/01
View Top 26»

Additional Winners

  • Miyu Namba and Waka Kobori were the only swimmers to get under the 4:10 threshold in the women’s 400m freestyle. Namba topped the podium in 4:08.65 while Kobori settled for silver in 4:09.34.
  • The women’s 50m fly saw Ai Soma get to the wall first in a time of 25.94. That’s within striking distance of her lifetime best of 25.76 she produced this past March.
  • Just one man clocked a sub-minute 100m breast with Yu Hanaguruma getting it done for gold in 59.91. Behind him was Olympian Ryuya Mura who touched in 1:00.08. Of note, Ippei Watanabe finished 4th in 1:00.58 while Shoma Sato was well back in 6th place in a time of 1:00.69 this evening.

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Swimmerfromjapananduk
2 months ago

Great to see ogata finally get a second pb. That kid won the 400 IM at the Japanese highschool championships as a first year in 4:13

John26
2 months ago

Imagine if Setos wins the 400IM in Paris

PFA
Reply to  John26
2 months ago

For him that would be one of the greatest comebacks of a 4 IMer because he would likely have to break the WR to win as well as be one of the biggest upsets of the entire Olympics.

nuotofan
2 months ago

Beyond Seto and Honda, usual depth at a very high level from Japanese Imers. Also some young Australian swimmers racing, and 19 year.old Kai Taylor won the 100 free B-final in a good 49.48.

Former Big10
2 months ago

Honda brought it back in 27, while Seto was 30. high!? Crazy race

nuotofan
Reply to  Former Big10
2 months ago

Also crazy maths lol.., Honda swam his final 50 m in 27.80 while Seto in 29.19.

Former Big10
Reply to  nuotofan
2 months ago

true true. i ain’t a mathematician, that’s for sure

swimsur
2 months ago

is this short or long- course? the Argentinian times are all SCM…

Former Big10
Reply to  swimsur
2 months ago

4:10 would be quite slow, scm, for this caliber of swimmer.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 months ago

54.7-106.1 feels like too much juice on the fly and not enough on the back.

Demarrit Steenbergen
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 months ago

Playing to his strengths

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.

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