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Daiya Seto defends 200-meter butterfly title at Asian Games

Kyodo

Daiya Seto defended his 200-meter butterfly title at the Asian Games on Sunday.

Seto, the reigning world bronze medalist in the event who claimed gold at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014, touched in 1 minute, 54.53 seconds in the final at GBK Aquatic Center in Jakarta.

His compatriot Nao Horomura made it a one-two for Japan, touching 1.05 behind, and China’s Li Zhuhao won bronze.

“My swimming was not all that great, but I finished well,” said Seto. “I am happy to have defended my title.

“I was keeping close tabs on the Chinese, and at the end, I was able to break away.”

Seto, a two-time world champion and Rio Olympics bronze medalist in the 400 individual medley, finished fifth in the 200 butterfly at the most recent Olympics.

Earlier on Sunday, Satomi Suzuki led a one-two finish for Japan in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, beating out compatriot Reona Aoki.

Suzuki won in an Asian Games record time of 1 minute, 6.40 seconds, with Aoki 0.05 back in second. China’s Shin Jinglin was third, 0.96 off Suzuki’s pace.

“It was not my personal best, so I feel some frustration,” Suzuki, a three-time medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, said. “That being said, it’s my first gold medal in the 100 meters.”

Aoki also expressed disappointment with the end result.

“I was aiming for gold, so this is really tough,” she said. “Still, I’m glad Japan could finish one-two.”

Japan got its third medal in the pool when Rikako Ikee led the nation’s women’s 4×100-meter relay team to victory.

The 18-year-old led off and established a winning margin for Japan before handing off to Natsumi Sakai and Aoki.

Chihiro Igarashi was the last to dive into the pool, anchoring the team to a 3 minute, 36.52-second games-record victory.

China finished second, 0.26 behind, with Hong Kong a distant third.

“The relay was my first event and I was trying too hard,” said Ikee. “But because we all competed together, we were able to achieve this, and I am extremely happy.”