EThe news from young Mr. Seto, a person who swims, is good. Despite moral concerns, the Japanese federation is now allowing him to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. We remember: Reporters revealed that the talented crawler had met a woman he was not married to in a so-called love hotel.
Apart from the fact that it is hypocritical when a country maintains extra hotels for lunches and then gets upset that someone is staying there, the question now arises: It must be feared that the swimming world champion will keep morale in the athletes’ village at underwater level will press?
The answer: Probably not, if you consider that in 2016 in the athletes’ village in Rio, 450,000 condoms were virtually ripped from the hands of donors. With 11,000 athletes that makes just under 41 per person! And they are probably not all married to each other. Well, some condoms were probably taken as souvenirs. But enough of that. What the young woman Seto says about all of this is not an Olympic topic anyway.
Er is one of Japan’s great hopes for a medal for the Olympic Games postponed to the coming year: Daiya Seto, who won gold medals in the 200 and 400 meter medley at the 2019 swimming world championships in Gwangju, South Korea. But Seto is currently making different headlines in Japan. In late September, a magazine revealed that the athlete was seen having an extramarital affair at a Japanese love hotel. The 26-year-old swimmer declared himself the next day and apologized in a statement. His careless behavior hurt his precious family and worried his supporters and sponsors and many others. He wants to think about his act and discuss the future with his family.
Correspondent for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.
Even if love hotels in Japan are popular for a shepherd’s hour at any time of the day or night, such an affair is not a venial sin in the rather conservative country. Politicians stumble over it too. To make matters worse, Seto is not just any athlete and, on top of that, used his family life for advertising. The Japanese swimming federation had chosen him as captain of the Olympic swimming team, and the National Olympic Committee advertises with his portrait for the games. Seto is married to the former high diver Yuka Mabuchi. The second child was born in March. In a recent commercial, Mabuchi cooks for her husband and raves about the food manufacturer Ajinomoto’s nutrition program. “Tokyo 2020, we’re fighting together,” says the swimming star’s wife at the end of the commercial.
The penalty for the misstep was immediate and the financial consequences for Seto and his family are unclear. The day after the affair became known, Ajinomoto deleted the advertising video on the Internet. Last week the airline ANA parted with its advertising ambassador. “We supported Seto,” said the company. “But this problem does not fit the image our company wants to exude.” Allegedly, Seto is said to have received more than 100 million yen (820,000 euros) from ANA a year. While maintaining the form, Seto also attended the Japanese Swimming Federation and resigned as captain of the Olympic swimming team. His contract with the National Olympic Committee on image rights is terminated at his request.
Seto is currently the outstanding star in intermediate swimming in Japan, since his role model and competitor Kosuke Hagino slipped into a physical and mental form and skipped the World Cup last year. Hagino has won four Olympic medals so far, including the gold and silver medal in the 400 meter and 200 meter medley in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Seto remained the bronze medal in the 400 meter medley in Rio. Since 2013 he has won seven medals at swimming world championships, including three gold medals in the 400 meter medley. Hagino struggled to qualify for the Olympic team at the end of 2019 and he is happy to have gained more training time by postponing the games. But Seto felt himself in the best of shape and complained in the weeks after the postponement that he had fallen into a deep hole.
Seto was heavily criticized for his act on social media, but there were also voices that made a sharp distinction between sport and private life and wished the swimmer all the best for the coming summer. Many were displeased that, according to the magazine report, Seto drove home after the affair, changed cars and picked up his children from daycare. His wife thanked him on the Internet service Instagram for taking care of the children and that she had the time for a professional meeting.