Daiya Seto Fires Latest Warning Shot With 4:06.09 Effort in 400 Medley [RACE VIDEO]

Foto Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse 20 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League Nella foto: SETO Daiya Photo Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse December 20, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League In the picture: SETO Daiya
Daiya Seto. Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Daiya Seto (Staying on Fire)

It might not be the intention of Daiya Seto each time he enters the water, but the Japanese star is firing off warning shots with regularity during the early stages of this Olympic season. Seto’s latest attention-grabbing performance arrived on Saturday at the Kitajima Cup, where he clocked a personal best of 4:06.09 to easily win the 400-meter individual medley.

He was just 0.04sec away from the Asian record held by long-time home rival Kosuke Hagino. Seto’s 4:11.85 in heats was faster than the next man home in the final, Ippei Miyamoto, on 4:14.11.

Through his 4:06-low effort, Seto logged the seventh-fastest performance in history, moving ahead of Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, whose 4:06.16 marker was good for the silver medal in the 400 medley at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Seto also moved to No. 5 performer of all-time, as he trails only Michael Phelps (4:03.84), Ryan Lochte (4:05.18), Chase Kalisz (4:05.90) and Kosuke Hagino (4:06.05). All but Kalisz produced their times on the way to Olympic gold. Kalisz, meanwhile, grabbed a world title with his outing. Phelps’ 4:05.25 and Lochte’s 4:06.08 from U.S. Olympic trials in 2008 fit in ahead of Seto’s best effort.

Seto’s Splits: 54.22; 1:57.68; 3:07.51 4:06.09

The All-Time Top 5:

  • 4:03.84 2008 Phelps,Michael USA
  • 4:05.18 2012 Lochte,Ryan USA
  • 4:05.90 2017 Kalisz,Chase USA
  • 4:06.05 2016 Hagino,Kosuke JPN
  • 4:06.09 2020 Seto, Daiya JPN
  • source: State of Swimming

Watch the race:

Seto’s latest exploits follow a standout showing at last week’s FINA Champions Series, where he won the 200 butterfly in 1:52.53 and prevailed in the 200 individual medley in 1:55.55. Meanwhile, in late December, Seto showed up at his first International Swimming League event and broke the world record in the short-course version of the 400 medley.

Although much will unfold in the months ahead, the fact that Seto is managing ultra-fast times in January bodes well for his home Olympiad. The four-time world champion, who has often traveled under the appreciation radar during his career, is headed for the Tokyo Games with the status of favorite and man to beat.

While Seto delivered the premier swim of the day, Yui Ohashi won the women’s 400 medley in 4:34.94 while veteran Ryosuke Irie followed his victory in the 100 backstroke from Friday (52.59) with a first-place finish in the 200 backstroke, thanks to a time of 1:55.35.

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