Daiya Seto took the next step in his quest for a third straight 400-meter individual medley world championship on Wednesday, when he departed for training in Europe ahead of July's worlds.

In the buildup to the worlds in Budapest, the spotlight is focused on the competition between Seto and compatriot Kosuke Hagino, the Rio Olympics 400 IM champ.

"I am confident," Seto told reporters at Narita airport outside Tokyo. "I am going to make maximum use of all the work I've put in."

Things have been going well for Seto so far this year. After beating Hagino in the 400 IM at the nationals in April and the Japan Open in May, he married competitive diver Yuka Mabuchi.

"While I'm working on improving my backstroke, I will build up laps in the other three strokes," he said of his plans for Europe, where he will both train and compete.