ISL Depth Charts 2020: Tokyo Frog Kings Look Like Finale Contenders


  • 2019 finish: N/A (new franchise)

Full Roster

Women Men
1 Yui Ohashi Vladimir Morozov
2 Simona Kubova Daiya Seto
3 Catie DeLoof Markus Thormeyer
4 Reona Aoki Bruno Fratus
5 Suzuka Hasegawa Kosuke Hagino
6 Chihiro Igarashi Ryosuke Irie
7 Runa Imai Shinri Shioura
8 Anna Ntountounaki Cristian Quintero
9 Natsumi Sakai Takeshi Kawamoto
10 Aya Sato Yuki Kobori
11 Sakiko Shimizu Kosuke Matsui
12 Rio Shirai Katsuhiro Matsumoto
13 Miho Teramura Naoki Mizunuma
14 Leah Smith Shoma Sato
15 Ai Soma Bradley Tandy
16 Tomomi Aoki Yasuhiro Koseki

2020 Depth Charts

Our depth charts are equal parts research and prognostication. While most of our ordering is based around best times on record, we’ve also done some guesswork based on time conversions from short course yards and/or long course meters, or in cases where athletes don’t have recent results in a specific event. These depth charts are intended to show the top options for each event, even if the specific event lineup may prevent a top swimmer from entering all of the events where they rank in the top two.

Potential skin races are shown in blue, and the events with relay considerations in red.


Assuming Daiya Seto remains on the roster (there are rumblings that he’s considering withdrawing amid some personal controversy this month), Tokyo will be loaded in the IMs on both sides. Seto was a massive value in the ISL last year when he was available. Seto swam just one meet, but won the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 fly in that meet – the season finale – and finished inside the top 100 in season MVP points with just one appearance. Projecting his finale scoring over a full four-meet season, Seto was on pace to finish in the top 15 overall.

Between Seto and the huge ceiling for fellow IMer Kosuke Hagino, Tokyo should be loaded on the men’s side, and Yui Ohashi projects as one of the top female IMers.

Then throw in Vladimir Morozov, the 100 IM world record-holder who should be among the favorites in that race.

Morozov is our segway into the next strength – men’s sprints. Morozov’s speed and versatility across all four strokes will make him a skin race weapon on a level with Caeleb Dressel and maybe no one else.

Tokyo also has a strong breaststroke group (Miho Teramura and Reona Aoki for the women and Yasuhiro Koseki for the men) and great 200 flyers with Seto and Suzuka Hasegawa, whose career-best 2:02.96 would have won the ISL finale by two seconds last year.


Women’s sprints and relays might be an issue for Tokyo. There’s no real standout in the freestyle skin race on the women’s side, and for the men, the sprinting depth behind Morozov is shaky. Filling out relays might expose some of the depth issues for Tokyo – though of course, every team will be a little thinner this year with effectively the same pool of athletes spread over ten teams instead of eight last year.

The women’s backstroke group is also without a clear standout. Men’s backstroke will rely on the rock solid veteran Ryosuke Irie, who is a very consistent in-season swimmer, but it’s worth noting that the back group on the men’s side is pretty thin if Irie can’t contend with the top-tier backstrokers in the league.

One underrated weakness deals with one of Tokyo’s strengths. While Morozov’s versatility is a huge plus, he may also deal with a tough skin race/100 IM double in every meet, as he’s Tokyo’s likely entrant in any of the four skin race strokes, and the clear-cut best 100 IMer.


Free: Morozov is an elite skin competitor, winning two of his three opportunities last year. Behind him, Brad Tandy has the start and the speed, but was disappointing in the ISL last year. For the women, Catie DeLoof and Aya Sato are the only two rostered swimmers with career-bests in the 24s, which will be a tough sell against a field of a lot of 23s.

Back: Again it’s Morozov for the men, but this is probably his weakest stroke. Simona Kubova (26.3) is a decent entrant for the women and has solid 200 back endurance that might help with multiple rounds.

Breast: Morozov is excellent in breaststroke. He won the 50 breast once last year and even beat Adam Peaty at the Euro derby. The women’s breaststroke group is good, but more 200-oriented. Miho Teramura is probably the top sprinter in the mix.

Fly: Anna Ntountounaki is the frontrunner, but probably not a winner contender. Morozov is again the best man on the roster with a 22.1 career-best that could put him the mix for wins.


As an expansion roster, Tokyo looks awfully strong. Some of that is because of the ISL’s lack of Asian swimmers in season 1, which left a largely un-recruited market for Tokyo to draw from in setting up their roster this year.

But much of that also has to do with the absolutely massive free-agent signings of Seto and Morozov, who could be legitimate top 10 MVP candidates this year league-wide. Keeping Seto on the roster is an absolute must for Tokyo if they plan to contend.

Like he did for Iron last year, Morozov can cover for multiple roster weaknesses by reaping points in the triple-point skin events. Tokyo may inherit some of Iron’s 2019 issues, including a sprint corps that struggles with relay depth to support Morozov as a league-winning star.

That relay thin-ness will be especially apparent on the women’s side, where Tokyo has no women with a career-best 100 free below 53.0 and only four or so below 54.0 even when you factor in long course conversions. Having relay swimmers step up is the key.

That said, if Tokyo’s mostly-rookie roster adapts well to the ISL format (and proves they can swim well ‘in-season’), this team is by far the most likely candidate to save the league from an exact repeat of 2019’s four finale-qualifying franchises.

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3 years ago

Morozov in the 200 free? Is that an error?

3 years ago

Nope. He’s been 1:43.0 in SCM.

That being said, I don’t suspect that he’ll actually swim the 200 free unless they get in a real bind, but, in a vacuum, he is their best option in the 200 free.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Isn’t Matsumoto their best option for 200 free?

Reply to  Jared Anderson
3 years ago

According to wikipedia he’s the national record holder in both the short course 200 and 400 free.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

what a surprise! that’s not a bad time, I had no idea.

3 years ago

The Frog Kings look like a very good team, with a few big stars, potential event winners and good depth in some events. Their bad luck in the logo competition (sliding to 5th despite being so popular) should make them a little more likely to have a standout first season, as with the ISL logo curse.

3 years ago

You completely forgot about fratus on the analysis

Didn’t count him on potential 50/100 freestyles and staying the sprints are thin besides morozov

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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