Seto Daiya, Japan's four-time world champion in the 200m and 400m individual medley, expanded his Tokyo to-do list Tuesday at the Japanese Olympic Trials. Seto finished second in the 200m butterfly, qualifying him for a third individual event at his home Olympic Games.
Eighteen-year-old Tomoru Honda pulled past Seto on the final lap to win the event with a time of 1:54.88. Seto, though, owns the Asian record in the event at 1:52.53 set January 2020, suggesting the 26-year-old has many faster swims ahead of him this summer.
Seto competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics as a 22-year-old, winning bronze in the 400m IM. Seto watched his countryman Hagino Kosuke win gold in that event, but in the time since, Seto has outperformed Hagino in virtually every possible opportunity.
Hagino did not enter the 400m IM at the Japanese Trials, forfeiting any chance of continuing the rivalry with Seto. In a translation obtained by Olympic Channel, Seto reacted with disappointment. "I'm up to my neck worrying about myself right now. But being completely honest, I wanted to compete against him," Seto said. "I lost to him in Rio and wanted to get him back at the Games. I really wanted him to enter. But Kosuke has to do what's best for Kosuke."
At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, Seto swept both individual medleys to automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in those events. He also took silver in the 200m butterfly, finishing a full three seconds behind Kristof Milak's world record-setting performance of 1:50.73. Seto is likely to contend for gold in all three individual events in which he is scheduled to compete.