End of a busy summer in Japan
The 2011 summer of the Japan Swimming has just ended. This summer was busy as usual. After the FINA World Championships held in Shanghai, China at the end of July, the Japan Swimming Federation had more than 10 competitions in August and September including the senior high school and the junior high school championships, JOC Olympic Cup, the Inter Collegiate Championships ,the National Sports Festival and more. Also the Federation sent the team of Japan to the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships held in Peru and to the Universiade Games held in China.
The National Sports Festival was not only for Swimming but also for all sports including Track & Field, Judo, Soccer, Golf and others ( the winter sports will be held in the winter season). Ryosuke Irie, a backstroker and Kanako Watanabe, a breaststroker were still good in their stroke at the National Sports Festival. Water Polo, Diving and Synchronised Swimming were also held in this event. For Water Polo, Kagoshima prefecture beat Tottori prefecture, 9-8 in the final game. For Synchronised Swimming, Duet Hikaru Kazumori/Tomoyo Kashima of Osaka-fu won the title. For Diving, Risa Asada and Sho Sakai did a good performance. NHK TV, the biggest TV in Japan covered most of the event. The results from this competition showed many promises for the upcoming Olympic year.
Meanwhile, the Federation announced the national team director and the head coach for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Mr. Koji Ueno has taken the national team director position and the head coach is Mr. Norimasa Hirai.
The last stage of the FINA/ARENA World Cup/Japan will be held at Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center in Tokyo, Japan on November 12 and 13, 2011.
On a sad note, Mr. Yoshihiro Hamaguchi passed away on August 10, 2011 after a heart failure - he was 86. He won a gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle at the USA National Championships held in Los Angeles in 1949, and he became a silver medallist in the 4x200m relay at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952. He was not only the best mentor but also the finest leader for the Japan National Swimming Team. The Japanese swimming community was in mourning after the loss of Yoshihiro Hamaguchi, one of the most famous swimming ambassadors in Japan.