2021 JAPAN OPEN
- Thursday, February 4th – Sunday, February 7th
- Tokyo Aquatics Centre
- LCM (50m)
- Entry List (in Japanese)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Prelims/Day 1 Finals
- Live Stream
While competing on day 1 of the 2021 Japan Open, Olympic medalist Daiya Seto took the top prize in the men’s 400m IM. Stopping the clock in a time of 4:12.57, Seto claimed the gold in his first race back in months after having served a suspension.
As a refresher, in September of 2020 Seto admitted to having an extramarital affair, which resulted in his being suspended by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) for an ethics code violation. The suspension proved costly, as Seto was dropped by his primary sponsor of All Nippon Airways, removed from Olympic Games imaging, as well as rendered unable to compete on the International Swimming League (ISL) team of the Tokyo Frog Kings. You can read more on how this originally unfolded here.
Now back in the water with the postponed Olympic Games on the horizon, Seto has given some insight into where his mind and body are at with his return to racing.
“I disappointed so many people associated with me because of my thoughtless actions last year,” Seto told The Japan Times. “I deeply regret that.”
“During the disciplinary period, I weighed in 81 kg (~179 pounds) and then I genuinely resumed my training last month,” Seto said. “So for about one month, while I did not reduce the volume of my meals, I tried to drop my fat. Now I weigh in about 76 or 77. It was about 75, 76 earlier last month. But I would like to gain muscles that can endure and resist lactic acid.”
He further told The Japan Times, “Condition-wise, because this is my first competition in a while, I’ve not been perfectly tuned up. But this is a new start and I wanted to do as best as I can today. I’m not satisfied with my time of 4:12 but I want to whip myself to work harder every single day.”
Seto retained his aut0-qualification status for Tokyo this summer via his gold medal-worthy performances in the 200m and 400m IM at the 2019 World Championships. He’ll will try to add at least the 200m fly to those IM events for a full schedule at a home-based Olympic Games, with his personal situation motivating him to make amends of sorts should he top the podium.
“I haven’t accomplished a gold medal at the Olympics,” said Seto. “And I want to repay those who I indebted, and swimming is the only way that I can express myself. So retirement didn’t cross my mind at all.”