Daiya Seto

Daiya Seto (瀬戸 大也, Seto Daiya, born 24 May 1994[1]) is a Japanese competitive swimmer who swims in the individual medley, butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle events. He won the gold medal in the 400 meter individual medley at the 2012,[3] 2014, and 2016 world short course championships, as well as at the 2013 and 2015 world long course championships. Seto holds the World record in the 200 meter butterfly and the Asian record in the 400 meter individual medley (short course).

Daiya Seto
Seto at the 2015 World Championships
Personal information
National teamJapan
Born (1994-05-24) 24 May 1994
Moroyama, Saitama, Japan
Height174 cm (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight73 kg (161 lb)
StrokesButterfly, individual medley
ClubJSS Moroyama[2]
College teamWaseda University[2]
CoachTakayuki Umehara (club)
Norimasa Hirai[2]

Seto is the first Asian swimmer to become a world champion in the individual medley.[4]

Swimming career

Seto took up swimming at the age of five because of his friend Kim Paulo Fabay who was his inspiration[2] He narrowly missed the 2012 Olympics when he finished third in both the 200 m and 400 m individual medley events at the national selection. He improved at the 2012 FINA World Cup, where he competed in all stages and ended up fourth overall. He concluded the short course season at the 2012 Short Course World Championships. Here Seto won the first international medals of his career. He first competed in the 400 m individual medley, where he won his first World Championship title in a new Asian record of 3:59.12, over a second and a half faster than second-place finisher László Cseh. He then competed in the 200 m individual medley, where he was able to rally past Cseh for the silver in a time of 1:52.80, over three seconds behind the winner Ryan Lochte who broke the world record.

2013 World Championships

Despite being the short course World Champion, Seto was still coming into the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain relatively unknown, mostly due to Japanese medley star Kosuke Hagino. He once again swam both individual medley events. In the 200 m, his first event, he swam a personal best in the semifinals with a time of 1:58.03, and then finished a touch slower in the final the next night to finish seventh overall. In his best event, the 400 m individual medley, Seto qualified first for the final and then surprisingly won his first long course world champion title by finishing first in a time of 4:08.69, about half a second ahead of second-place finisher Chase Kalisz. He is the second fastest Asian performer in the event, behind Hagino.[5]

2014 and 2018 Pan Pacific Championships

During the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Seto had won a gold medal.[6]

In 2018 he won a gold medal at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.[7]

2015 World Championships

Seto successfully defended his world title in the 400 m individual medley on the last day of the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.[8] Earlier in the meet, he did not live up to expectations in the 200 meter butterfly and individual medley, events in which he was ranked 2nd in the world before the championships.[9][10]

2016 Olympics

Seto earned a bronze medal in the 400 m individual medley on 6 August, with a time of 4:09.71 in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[11] He also finished fifth in the 200 m butterfly.

He is scheduled to participate at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.[12]

In 2018 he was named Swimmer Of The Year by SwimSwam.[13]

Daiya Seto is married to Yuka Mabuchi and have a daughter Yuwa.[1]

Personal bests

long course, as of 25 July 2019

Event Time Meet Venue Date Note(s)
200 m individual medley 1:56.14 2019 World Championships Gwangju, South Korea 25 July 2019
400 m individual medley 4:07.95 2019 Sette Colli Rome, Italy 22 June 2019
200 m butterfly 1:53.86 2019 World Championships Gwangju, South Korea 24 July 2019

short course, as of 11 December 2018

Event Time Meet Venue Date Note(s)
400 m individual medley 3:56.33 2014 World Swimming Championships (short course) Doha, Qatar 4 December 2014 NR, AS
200 m butterfly 1:48.24 2018 World Swimming Championships (short course) Hangzhou, China 11 December 2018 WR


  1. "Daiya Seto". FINA. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. Daiya Seto Archived 13 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. nbcolympics.com
  3. "Daiya Seto Posts Asian Record; Chad Le Clos Blitzes Meet Record on Night Two of Worlds". Swimming World. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. "Seto first Asian to win gold in medley". The Hindu. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. "Japan's Seto wins 400 meters medley gold". Reuters. 4 August 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. Crouse, Karen (22 August 2014). "Japanese Swimming Has Momentum at Its Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. Tarrant, Jack (13 August 2018). "Games – Japan's athletes head to Asian Games with thoughts on 2020". Reuters. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  8. "Seto takes gold in 400-meter individual medley". Japan Times. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  9. Race, Loretta (5 August 2015). "Japan's Daiya Seto Surprisingly A Non-Factor At Worlds". Swimswam. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  10. Lohn, John (9 August 2015). "M400 Medley: Finding His Form, Make It Back-To-Back Crowns For Japan's Daiya Seto". Swimvortex. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  11. Mckirdy, Andrew (7 August 2016). "Hagino earns Japan's first Rio Games gold with victory in 400-meter individual medley". Japan Times. ISSN 0447-5763.
  12. "U.S. swimmers sweep relays, break world record at short course worlds". NBC Sports. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  13. Race, Loretta (14 August 2018). "2018 Swammy Awards: Daiya Seto, Male Asian Swimmer Of The Year". SwimSwam. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
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