Seto Unleashes 2:08 200 Breast While Milak Wins Twice At Tokyo Open


Day 1 of the 2019 Tokyo Open saw visiting swimmer Kristof Milak of Hungary reap gold across 2 individual events. The newly-minted long course 200m fly World Record holder first took the men’s 200m free in a time of 1:48.29, with former Japanese national record holder in the event, Kosuke Hagino, settling for silver in 1:48.79.

Next up was Milak’s gold medal-worthy time of 52.10 in the 100m fly, a mark which allowed him to edge out Daiya Seto, the reigning short course 200m fly World Record holder. Seto touched in 52.60 to take 3rd place in the race, while Takeshi Kawamoto split the pair with his silver medal swim of 52.48.

However, Seto’s 100m fly came just after he produced the fastest 200m breaststroke time of his career. The 25-year-old ANA swimmer busted out a lifetime best 2breast outing of 2:08.98, getting under the 2:09 threshold, as well as the 2:10 threshold, for that matter, for the first time ever.

Entering this meet, Seto’s previous PB stood at the 2:10.05 notched at the 2016 Japan Open. Splits for Seto’s time this evening included 1:02.63/1:06.35 and his performance bodes well for the man’s 200m IM/400m IM events.

The former World Record holder in the 200m breast, Ippei Watanabe, got to the wall about just over half a second ahead of Seto, securing the top prize in a time of 2:08.47.

Shoma Sato, the World Junior Record holder in this event, snagged bronze in 2:10.57. His WJR stands at the 2:09.21 logged at this year’s JPN Student Swimming Championships after having claimed World Junior Championships silver in 2:09.56.

Of his 200m breast, Seto stated post-race, “I could see Watanabe; it was a really good race.” He continued, “I was quite tired from the practice and I was quite tight before the race, but I was able to still put up a strong second half.”

Watanabe commented, “I was battered that last 50 meters; there are still problems with my fitness on the second half.” He says he will review his stroke and tempo methodically, with the goal of ‘updating the world record again at next April’s Japan Swim.’

Hagino was back in the water contesting the men’s 200m back after his 200m free, registering a time of 1:57.79 for silver. That slices almost .2 off of his season-best of 1:57.96 put up just last week that marked his best time in 2 years.

Although not entirely considered an ‘off-event’ for this versatile star who swims everything from the IMs to the mid-distance freesytles, the 200m back is not something Hagino races frequently. However, he holds a personal best mark of 1:54.23 from 2014, a time that renders him the 2nd best Japanese performer of all-time.

Keito Sunama wound up winning the 200m back title, however, producing an outing of 1:56.39 for the gold. Solidly splitting 57.71/58.68, Sunama’s time was less than a second off of his own PB of 1:55.54, which rendered him the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist in the event.

For the women, Chihiro Igarashi came out on top of the 200m free in a time of 1:58.50, getting to the wall just .03 ahead of runner-up Rio Shirai and her time of 1:58.53.

Miyu Namba, who claimed World Junior Championships silver in the 800m free this summer, nabbed gold tonight in that event in a time of 8:31.14. Namba crushed the field by more than 20 seconds.

World Championships bronze medalist in the 400m IM, Yui Ohashi, got it done tonight in the 100m fly, leading the way in a time of 58.17. Rika Omoto was also in the 58-second territory with 58.63 for silver, as was Suzuka Hasegawa who rounded out the top 3 in 58.84. The top 7 swimmers were all under a minute.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Is there a race this guy is not world class in?

3 years ago

Pretty impressive for an “off event”

3 years ago

It’s basically a guaranteed that this man will destroy the field in the 400im 2020

3 years ago

Mozzoroff would never do this

The Ready Room
3 years ago

2:08 is legit during training! Makes you wonder if Seto could hover around that 2:06/2:07 barrier in a rested swim.

Human Ambition
Reply to  The Ready Room
3 years ago

Japan does have the best R&D Coach on the planet.

Reply to  Human Ambition
3 years ago

R and d?

Reply to  Liam
3 years ago

Maybe research and development

Reply to  The Ready Room
3 years ago

Legit is this first word that came to mind. Well, maybe second after “wow”.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
3 years ago

“with the goal of ‘updating the world record again at next April’s Japan Swim.’”

Someone might want to inform the Japanese that there’s another meet a few months later that they should be peaking for.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
3 years ago

I mean…the Japan Swim is their Olympic Trials. They do it in April so their swimmers can taper fully for both that meet and the Olympics.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
3 years ago

There are over four months between them. If resting a few months out from a big meet was bad, we wouldn’t see rested/suited midseason invites in the NCAA. Thankfully, most coaches have figured out that you can peak more than once per year.

Reply to  sven
3 years ago

In fact, if you don’t peak more than once or twice a year, you will never reach your peak.

Vin Beisel
3 years ago

More exciting than the ISL!

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.

Read More »