While match 1 of season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL) rages on in Budapest, Hungary, the Tokyo Frog Kings have finally cemented their 36-person roster.
With a bye for week 1 of this year’s ISL competition, the Kosuke Kitajima-led squad had time to quickly replace one of their would-be powerhouse athletes in Daiya Seto.
As we’ve reported, Seto is unable to compete in the ISL, or any meets overseas for that matter, as a fallout result of his extramarital affair deemed an ethics code violation by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF). You can read the background on Seto’s situation here.
18-year-old Honda is no stranger to the spotlight, albeit more prolific on the junior circuit. He took bronze in the LCM 200 fly at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and followed that up with silver in the same event at last year’s World Junior Championships.
Prior to today, the Nihon University swimmer owned a lifetime best 200 fly time of 1:53.45 in short course meters from the 2019 Japan Short Course Championships. The teen is actually competing this weekend domestically at the Japan Short Course Championships, taking silver in the SCM 200 fly in a time of 1:52.75. So the roster announcement has already resulted in a big time drop in his pet event.
In long course, Honda blasted a stellar 1:55.76 to wrap up 200m fly gold at the 2020 Japan Student Championships earlier this month.
Honda has IM capabilities as well, owning a LCM 400m IM personal best of 4:13.31 from earlier this month to rank as Japan’s 6th fastest performer all-time in the event.