Watch Daiya Seto’s Near World Record-Breaking SCM 400 IM


Video courtesy of Japanese Swimming Federation (Seto’s race begins about 3:42:00)

As originally reported:

25-year-old Daiya Seto is in the form of his life, having taken double gold at this year’s World Championships in Gwangju, Korea. After topping the podium there in the 200m IM and 400m IM, Seto earned automatic berths for his home nation-hosted Summer Olympic Games next year, per the Japanese Swimming Federation selection policy.

But the man is doing anything but resting on his laurels, continuing to race and joining the International Swimming League (ISL) Team Energy Standard for its inaugural season. He also is just coming back from an intense high-altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Entering these Japanese Short Course Swimming Championships, Seto said he was feeling particularly strong and ready to attack the SCM 400 IM record as a goal.

When the dust settled tonight on day 1 at the Tatsumi Interaintoaoi Swimming Center, the ANA swimmer indeed took the 400m IM gold in a time of 3:55.53, falling only .03 outside of American Ryan Lochte‘s World Record set at the 2010 Short Course World Championships in Dubai.

Seto’s previous personal best in the 400m IM rested at the 3:56.33 he put up at the 2014 Short Course World Championships. That represented the Japanese national record in the event, as well as the Asian continental record.

Tonight, however, Seto dropped that down by well over half a second to produce the fastest time of his career in 3:55.53 and nearly claim his 2nd SCM World Record. He already owns the 200m fly mark (1:48.24) from last year’s Short Course World Championships.

After his race, Seto told Asian media, “.03 is really frustrating,” in terms of narrowly missing the WR.

Breakdown of Seto’s Japanese national record and Asian record-setting swim tonight is as follows:


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The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

Awesome swim 52.6, 59.6, 67.2, 56.1
I can only dream of swimming any of those times for a 100 these days.

1 year ago

That must feel really frustrating, missing a WR by such a small margin. I think he has to work on closing speed, given that that was where he fell off here and where Jay Litherland almost ran him down at WC’s.

Reply to  swimfan210_
1 year ago

I think that Seto’s free endurance could be improved on, but I think it’s also important to consider that free may not be his best stroke. Litherland regularly competes in races like the 200 free and 400/500 free, with the 500 being from his college days. My point is Seto is not currently the other-worldly freestyler that Phelps and Lochte were that we’re used to seeing with strong IMers. And it’s not one of the stronger parts of his race like it is with Litherland.

1 year ago

Those underwaters were ridiculous. It’s a real shame he never competed in the NCAA, because that certainly would have been a sight to see.

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 …

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