Good 2011 start for Japanese swimming
The 2011 Konami Open was held at the Konami Sports Club-Nishinomiya near Kobe in Hyogo on January 15 and 16. Siho Sakai clocked 2:09.49 in the women’s 200m backstroke. Naoya Tomita did a good job, racing smoothly in the men’s 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:12.31. Sakai and Tomita were both declared "Swimmer of the Meet". In all, 36 meet records were established.
On the same weekend, The Chiba Masters Committee hosted The New Year’s Festival Swimming Championships at the Chiba International General Swimming Center (CIGSC) in Chiba. On the first day, enthusiasm was at its peak when the first Masters world record was established. Naoko Shide broke the world record (5:40.27) in the women’s 400m IM for the 50-54 years old division. On the next day, two more performances were made: Hiroshi Matsumoto in the 75-79 years old category established a new world record, 34.04 in the men’s 50m butterfly, and Mieko Nagaoka, who is already known as a super-lady in the Masters movement worldwide, attempted to break the world record in the women’s 400m freestyle in the 95-99 years old division, which she did in a super 13:52.13.
The 2011 Indoor Circuit Swim was also held at the CIGSC on January 15. Chiba Swimming Federation has been developing an unique event using the 50m Olympic-size pool since 2008. The course of the race could be performed either in a loop, triangle or square of a 100m distance fixed in the 10 lanes of the 50m pool. There were three swimming events: 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m. 52 swimmers aged from 6 to over 75 years old took part in one of the events and enjoyed competing in the races.
The 45th TV Asahi-Big Sports Awards Ceremony was held at the Prince Tower Hotel Tokyo on January 14. More than 800 people were invited to the event, which biggest award is "The Big Sports" award. The winners for the year 2010 were Daisuke Takahashi, an Olympic bronze medal figure skater and Tomoyuki Matsuda, one of the best rifle shooters in Asia. Ryosuke Irie, Japan's famous backstroke specialist, received the Asahi TV Swimming Project 2010 Award.
Japanese national teams are preparing for the upcoming competition, the Japan-Open/short course nationals to be held at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center on Feb.26 and 27, 2011.