Japan’s Seto fails to qualify in 400 IM; Aussie has top time

By BETH HARRIS AP Sports Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Daiya Seto of Japan surprisingly failed to qualify for the 400-meter individual medley final on the opening night of swimming at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Seto, the bronze medalist five years ago in Rio and a three-time world champion in the event, finished ninth. Only the top eight made the final on Sunday morning

Brendon Smith of Australia led the way in 4 minutes, 9.27 seconds. Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand was second-quickest in 4:09.49. American Chase Kalisz, the silver medalist in Rio, qualified third in 4:09.65.

David Verraszto of Hungary, the oldest swimmer in the event at age 32, moved on in fourth. Also advancing was Jay Litherland of the U.S.

Without fans in the 15,000 Tokyo Aquatics Centre, masked teams had ample room to spread out in socially distanced seats above the deck. The U.S. contingent waved tiny American flags and pounded red-white-and-blue Thunderstix, while the Germans spread their large-sized flag over two rows of seats.

Waiting for the session to begin, the Americans chanted “Dr. Biden, Dr. Biden” and clapped. The U.S. first lady, sitting across the pool, stood and waved back.

None of the usual electricity that typically courses through the Olympic pool was present. Teams shouted the names of their swimmers during the race, when the sound of water splashing was easily heard and music played.


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