This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.
Although long-course pools are used for the most important competitions, Daiya Seto has demonstrated again and again that global short-course competitions have competitive ― and historic ― value, too.
Seto is the king of the 400-meter individual medley in short-course pools (25 meters in length). Olympic pools are 50 meters long.
The Saitama Prefecture native extended his reign of dominance in the event at the 2022 FINA Short Course World Championships on Saturday, December 17 in Melbourne, Australia.
In the 400 IM final, Seto touched the wall first in 3 minutes, 55.75 seconds to win the race at his sixth consecutive Short Course World Championships meet. Runner-up Carson Foster of the United States finished nearly two seconds (3:57.63) behind Seto. (Watch highlights of the race and other Day 5 highlights from here. The championships wrapped up the next day.)
No other swimmer ― not even the incomparable Michael Phelps ― has won a single event in six consecutive Short Course World Championships or six straight World Aquatics Championships (events staged in long-course pools).
It was a riveting reminder of Seto's all-around excellence as a swimmer in an event that showcases the ability to combine four disciplines (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle) into a single competition.
"I was focused on this event," Seto told reporters after the race at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
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