Of all the competitors to swim in the qualifying heats for the men’s 400 meter individual medley final only two managed to post a time below 4:10, Chase Kalisz of the United States and Daya Seito of Japan. But it was another competitor who won the gold medal, with Japan’s Kosuke Hagino finishing first with a time of 4:06.05 as he held off a hard-charging Kalisz for the win.
Kalisz, who will be a senior at Georgia next season, won silver three years after doing so at the World Auqatics Championships in Barcelona. His time of 4:06.75 represents a new personal best for Kalisz, whose qualifying time of 4:08.12 was the prior mark. Seito, who won gold in the 400 meter individual medley in those championships, had to settle for bronze Saturday night in Rio with a time of 4:09.71.
Hagino’s win ends a streak of five straight Olympic gold medals for the United States in the men’s 400 meter individual medley, dating back to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. In 1992 Eric Namesnik won silver in the event, with Hungary’s Tamas Darnyi winning the gold medal.
Since then three American men combined to win those five gold medals, with Tom Dolan doing so in 1996 and 2000, Michael Phelps earning gold in 2004 and 2008, and Ryan Lochte winning in 2012.