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Swimming: Japan's Seto defends men's 200 butterfly at Pan Pacs

Japan's Daiya Seto, center, poses with his medal on the podium after winning the men's 200m butterfly final, with second-placed Leonardo de Deus of Brazil, left, and third-placed Zachary Harting of the U.S., during the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Tokyo, on Aug. 10, 2018.(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Daiya Seto defended his title in the men's 200-meter butterfly at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on Friday.

Japan, which won nine medals on the first day of action, bagged one gold, two silver and one bronze in front of a packed Tokyo Tatsumi Swimming Center on the second day of the six-day meet.

A day after finishing third in the men's 400 individual medley, Seto saw off the challenge of Brazil's Leonardo De Deus, touching the wall in 1 minute, 54.34 seconds. De Deus timed 1:54.89 and American Zachary Harting took bronze in 1:55.05.

"I finally won gold so I'm really relieved. I was tired from yesterday, but I wanted to win this event at any cost," Seto said. "The time wasn't as good as I hoped but winning in front of my home crowd feels great."

The 24-year-old Seto led at the first turn but De Deus came from behind. The Japanese sped up in the final 50 meters to hold off the Brazilian.

"I couldn't raise my arms towards the end of the race. But after hearing people cheer for me, I told myself I can't lose, and I just did my best until the finish," Seto said.

In the men's 100-meter backstroke, Ryosuke Irie, Japan's oldest swimmer at the championships, claimed silver with a time of 52.78. American Ryan Murphy won gold in 51.94, while Mitchell Larkin of Australia finished third.

"I was able to post a good result for the first time in a while, but Ryan had an amazing record and it motivated me to do better," the 28-year-old Irie said.

Japan's Naito Ehara, Reo Sakata, Yuki Kobori and Katsuhiro Matsumoto claimed bronze in the men's 4x200-meter free relay, won by the United States. Sachi Mochida won silver in the women's 200-meter fly, finishing .31 second behind American Hali Flickinger.

Rikako Ikee missed out on a chance to win her third medal at the tournament, after Japan finished last in the four-team, women's 4x200 free relay.

Japan's team of Ikee, Chihiro Igarashi, Rio Shirai and Yui Ohashi extended the national record by posting a time of 7:48.96. Australia touched the wall in 7:44.12 for gold, followed by the United States and Canada.

"We were able to beat the national record thanks to the support from our fans, but I'm frustrated we didn't medal," Ikee said.

She only managed fifth in the women's 100-meter freestyle held earlier in the day. The 18-year-old won two silver medals the previous day.

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