Chase Kalisz of the United States qualified fastest in the 400-meter individual medley preliminaries on the first day of the Olympic swimming competition.
Kalisz won his heat in 4 minutes, 8.12 seconds on Saturday after overtaking Daiya Seto of Japan, who was second-quickest in 4:08.47 in the same heat.
Seto’s teammate, Kosuke Hagino, was third-fastest in 4:10.00. American Jay Litherland qualified fourth in 4:11.10 going into the eight-man late-night final.
The grueling event featuring all four strokes _ butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle _ was missing its two biggest stars. Michael Phelps, the world record holder and two-time Olympic champion, dropped the race for his fifth games and defending champion Ryan Lochte didn’t qualify.