Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto finished fourth in the men's 200-meter individual medley on Friday, missing out on a medal in the only final he reached at the Tokyo Games.
The reigning world champion in both the 200 and 400 IM, Seto touched in 1-minute 56.22 seconds, 1.22 behind the gold medalist Wang Shun of China and 0.05 behind bronze medalist Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland. Britain's Duncan Scott won silver.
After his shock exit in the 400 IM heats and his failure to reach 200 butterfly final, this was Seto's last chance to win a medal and live up to the pre-games hype.
"It was the best condition I could get myself in at this moment in time and I feel I gave all I have," said the 27-year-old, who won bronze in 400 IM at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. "I've been trying hard picturing much better results, but things didn't go as I wished."
His longtime rival Kosuke Hagino, the 26-year-old who won 400 IM gold and 200 IM silver in Rio before a dip in form saw him quit the pool for several months in 2019, finished sixth in 1:57.49.
"So many things were flashing back before the race," said Hagino, who has been competing against Seto since their elementary school days. "I've swum in the same race with Daiya possibly more than double-figure times and I'm happy we got to swim together at the end at the Tokyo Olympics."
"Maybe the tears have dried out yesterday (after the semifinals). The time might have been slow as well, but I've given my all and I have no regrets."
Seto also had kind words for his rival while promising to bounce back.
"I couldn't get the medal at the end but at least I could improve my time from the semis," Seto said. "It's a bit disappointing not to get a medal but I'm happy to have swum together with Kosuke on this dream stage and to compete together."
"I couldn't repay many people with results...but I'll try to produce one at some point in the future and ensure I have a career I can look back on positively."
In the men's 200 backstroke, Ryosuke Irie, the silver medalist in the event at the 2012 London Games when he also won bronze in the 100 backstroke, finished seventh in 1:57.32. Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee won in an Olympic record 1:53.27, chased home by American Ryan Murphy and Briton Luke Greenbank.
"I've taken part in the games since 2008 and I'm happy to get the taste of this stage (in Tokyo) with my fourth time," the 31-year-old Irie said.
In the evening session, Japan's women's 4x100 medley relay team clocked the sixth-fastest time of the two heats to qualify to the final.
Leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee swam the butterfly leg of the race, holding third position throughout her swim and handing over to freestyler Chihiro Igarashi who anchored the team.
Ikee has swum in two other relay events at the Tokyo Games -- the mixed 4x100 medley and the women's 4x100 freestyle -- but this is the first in which her team has qualified for a final.
Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa won the women's 200 breaststroke in a world record 2:18.95 time, slashing 0.16 second off the previous best. American Lilly King finished in the silver position, almost a second behind, with fellow U.S. athlete Annie Lazor taking bronze.
Australian Emma McKeon claimed the 100 freestyle in an Olympic record 51.96 seconds, her second gold and fourth medal of the games overall. Siobhan Bernadette Haughey of Hong Kong won silver and Cate Campbell made it an Australia 1-3 by earning bronze.