At the 2013 World Aquatics Championships on Sunday, Daiya Seto brought home the lone gold for Japan with his 04:08:69 record for the 400-metre Individual Medley . The 19-year old even surpassed fellow Japanese Kosuke Hagino, known for having the best record in the 400-metre individual medley heats at the 2012 London Olympics. Seto has now become the first Japanese to win a 400-metre IM in either of the most sought after tournaments, the Olympics or Worlds.
Seto secured the gold at the tournament held in Barcelona when he finished 00:53 ahead of Chase Kalisz of the United States. “I couldn’t have had a better performance,” said Seto. He also promised to “make sure not to get complacent and keep working.” Brazilian Thiago Pereira clocked 04:09:48 to win the Bronze. 2012 Summer Olympics Bronze medalist Hagino finished at fifth with his 04:10:77 record.
2012 Summer Olympics gold medalist Ryan Lochte was not in the competition but Seto hopes to face the American swimmer soon. “I want to add more speed and strength so when I do face Lochte, I can keep up with him,” Seto confessed. Comparing his record to Lochte’s at the London Olympics finals, Seto said that his was “a lot slower than the winning time.” He was thankful enough as “a win is still a win,” saying that he will “just keep swimming with confidence.”
With regards to Hagino, Seto considered him a motivation during the tournament. He also said that Hagino means a lot to him. “He was on fire at this meet with two silvers and that motivated me. I want to thank him more than anyone. I hope we can push each other to be the best in the world and next time, be on the podium together.”