If there is one adjective that can better describe Daiya Seto, it is Versatile. Short course and long course world champion, Seto swims in butterfly, breaststroke, individual medley, and freestyle events.
But his specialty lies in individual medley and butterfly.
In Japanese, Daiya means diamond. Japanese Swimmer has time and again proved himself to be as bright as a diamond on the pool.
For that reason, he has won the prestigious Asian male swimmer of the year award twice.
Besides that, he has one Olympic bronze from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Unfortunately, in 2020, he reports that his extramarital affairs lead him to be shunned in Japan. It threw his life in a spiral resulting in a quick downfall. Despite that, he has not given up on swimming.
He is currently representing Japan in Tokyo Olympics.
In this article, we will go through the rise and downfall of Daiya Seto. We will also discuss his early life, relationships, and scandals.
But first, here are some quick facts.
Daiya Seto: Quick Facts
|Full Name||Daiya Seto|
|Native name||瀬戸 大也|
|Birthdate||24th May 1994|
|Age||27 years old|
|Birthplace||Moroyama Town, Iruma District, Saitama, Japan|
|Home Town||Moroyama, Saitama, Japan|
|School||Saitama Sakae High School|
|Height||174 cm/ 5’8”|
|Weight||72kg/ 159 lbs|
|Children||Two Daughters ( Yuwa and Nowa)|
|Strokes||Butterfly, Individual medley|
|World champion||2013 (400m IM), 2015 (400m IM)|
|Olympic Wins||One bronze (2016)|
|Personal Bests||51.89 (100m butterfly), 1:48.24 (200m butterfly short course)|
|Club||Energy Standard, JSS Moroyama|
|Coach||Takayuki Umehara (club), Norimasa Hirai (National)|
|Net Worth||$1 million|
|Affiliated Brands||Air Nippon|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
|Merch||Swimwear, Tokyo Olympics 2021|
Daiya Seto: Early Life & Family
Daiya was born on 24 May 1994 in Moroyama, Saitama, Japan. There is not much information regarding his parents and siblings.
Likewise, he started swimming at the tender age of 5. He began participating in national swimming competitions in elementary school.
As a kid, he learned both Football and Swimming. But he later found swimming more interesting and went into it full-time.
Well-known swimmer Kosuke Hagino was his rival since both were kids. But for the childhood mates, the world rival does not mean an arch-nemesis but comrades fighting together for a similar goal.
The comrades first met at the summer national tournament in elementary school. Hagino was popularly known as a “genius swimmer” and was left defeated in the competition.
He later defeated Haino at the 400m individual medley. The friendly rivalry later blossomed into a friendship.
As of now, both have grown into top Japanese swimmers, but their friendship is still intact.
Daiya Seto: Relationships, Wife & Kids
Daiya Seto is married to Yuka Mabuchi.
Yuka Mabuchi is the daughter of well-known diving coach Takahide Mabuchi. Japan Swimming Federation diving committee member.
All Japan National Team Head Coach. Born and raised in China, he is a naturalized citizen of Japan.
Following her father’s footsteps, Yuka was also inclined towards diving and swimming from a young age. Her first Hikomi competition (a popular Japanese diving competition) was at the age of six.
She has multiple medals in interschool and national competitions. However, following her marriage with Seto, she announced her retirement.
While she said marriage did not influence her decision, Seto mentioned that she was tired of competing and wanted something else for herself.
The couple met at a swimming event and fell in love. Seto broke the news of their wedding via Instagram on May 24, 2017.
A grand wedding reception was held at a hall in Toko on October 1 that year.
The couple welcomed their first daughter Yuwa on June 26, 2018. In March 2020, they were blessed with another daughter.
Both of the birth’s announcements were made via social networking sites.
Extramarital Affair Scandal
On September 23, a Japanese news site ‘Daily Shinco’ posted a report on the beloved swimmer, which left fans in shock.
According to that, Seto was seen with his girlfriend in a particular hotel, and he was accused of having an extramarital affair.
The next day, Seto came forward and acknowledged the accusations. He proceeded to accept having an extra material affair and apologized to his well-wishers and family.
However, it was not sufficient to subside the chaos. Reportedly, there was not just one but several women he had affairs with.
Following the turmoil, sponsors and brands started to shun Daiya. As a result, all the advertisements featuring him were deleted.
In addition, his major affiliation contract with All Nippon Airways was canceled because “he was not worthy of corporate image” anymore.
Immediately, Seto informed JOC and the Japan Swimming federation that he would decline to be the team captain for Tokyo Olympics.
Japanese swimming officials said that his actions violated the code of sportsmanship and harmed the honor of the federation.
Here are other dispositions imposed on Seto by the Japanese swimming federation:
- Suspension of activities within the year like participating in JSF official tournaments, training camps, overseas expeditions.
- Suspension of recommendation of sports promotion fund subsidy in the second half of 2020.
- Attendance on Future Japan Swimming Federation education program, JOC integrity education program, basic training program, etc.
Needless to say, he received widespread hate from Japanese fans, media, and the sports circle.
On the other hand, the world was surprised to see an athlete being harshly treated for a non-criminal offense like infidelity.
Japanese people have said that Japan is a country that values family and ethics very highly. Therefore, if anyone tries to overstep the boundaries, they are likely to be punished harshly.
Subsequently, Seto stated that he does not know how to apologize. Further, he states his apology is to continue swimming and restoring the trust of his family.
Yuka has not spoken anything about the affair yet.
While he was forbidden from participating in the next national games, he was allowed to participate in Tokyo Olympics and train in private.
He will also have to complete japan Olympic committees ‘integrity education’ and other courses.
Daiya Seto: Career
During high school, he was a three-time winner at 400m IM at the interschool championships.
He narrowly missed his chance at London Olympics after ending up third in the japan championships.
Though he was beginning his career, failing the trials had a negative effect on him. He felt a decline in motivation which was evident in his later performances.
Five months later, he won four crowns at the FiNa Istanbul.
The talented swimmer has won gold in 2012, 2014, and 2016 world short-course championships. Similarly, he has short course world records in the 200m butterfly and 400m IM.
All the swimming fans, including Seto himself, considered the Tokyo Olympics his major chance for redemption.
The reigning world champ in both the 200 and 400 IM, he participated in 3 events in the Olympics but only managed to reach the finals of 200m IM. He finished the race in 1.56.22, missing the bronze medal by 0.05 seconds.
It is not difficult to estimate that last year’s events have taken a major toll on his performance.
We can only wait and see how he manages to redeem himself and his career for the time being.
Daiya Seto: Social Media
Facebook: 27k followers
Twitter: 184.3k followers
Instagram: 157k followers
Daiya Seto: Net Worth
As a successful competitive swimmer, yuka has earned a subsequential amount of money.
But the chaos ensued by his affairs has led to many major brands cutting ties with him, sharply declining his net worth.
His major sponsor used to be Nippon Airway, the largest airline in Japan. Sponsorship deals started to pour in after he won world championships. But he has lost most of them since last year.
Estimation of his current net worth stands at $1million.
Daiya Seto: Frequently Asked Questions
Does Daiya Seto have an Olympic gold?
The Japanese swimmer has time and again mentioned that winning Olympic gold is his lifelong dream. But, unfortunately, Seto has not been able to earn one till now.
So, since he lost his possibility of making his dream come true at the Tokyo Olympics, he will have to wait till the 2024 Olympics for another chance.
Is Seto still suspended?
Seto received a one-year suspension in October 2020. He will be suspended till October 2021. Despite that, he was allowed to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.