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Olympics: Seto into 200 IM final, keeps medal hopes alive

Daiya Seto, of Japan, reacts after a men's 200-meter individual medley semifinal at the Summer Olympics, on July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto kept alive his hopes of winning a Tokyo Games medal Thursday, advancing to the final of the men's 200-meter individual medley, his final event, along with countryman Kosuke Hagino.

    Seto, who came into these Olympics as a gold medal favorite in both the 200 and 400 IM, swam to second place in his heat at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in a time of 1 minute, 56.86 seconds, to book a spot in Friday's final as the third-fastest qualifier.

    Taking the pool after Seto, Hagino touched the wall in 1:57.47 for third place in his heat and sixth fastest overall.

    The Rio de Janeiro Olympic 400 IM Olympic gold medalist was in tears after booking a spot in the finals.

    In addition to the medleys, Seto has competed in the 200 butterfly at the Tokyo Games. The 200 IM is the first final he has reached.

    In other events, Australia's Izaac Stubblety-Cook came from behind in the final 50 meters to win the men's 200-meter breaststroke, while Japan's Ryuya Mura finished seventh.

    Stubblety-Cook touched the wall with an Olympic record of 2:06.38 seconds, 0.63 second ahead of Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, who led much of the race at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Finland's Matti Mattsson was third at 2:07.13.

    Mura, competing at his first Olympics, finished in 2:08.42 for seventh.

    "Now that it's over, I'm very disappointed. I heard my teammates cheer for me when I entered the venue, and when I started and it encouraged me," the 25-year-old Japanese said.

    "My goal was to win a medal, but I think the experience of competing at an Olympic final will help me in my career."

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