Promising performances at Japan's Junior Olympic Cup
The 34th Junior Olympic Cup, a famous aquatics event organised by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), concluded on a successful note at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center (T-TISC) on March 30, 2012 in Tokyo (JPN). The four-day competition gathered 3'638 junior swimmers (1'907 boys and 1'731 girls) from 887 clubs from all over Japan to compete in 25m events.
A new national record, five high school records, one junior high school record, two elementary school records and 19 meet records were set at the event. Among girls, Miki Uchida established a new national record in the 50m freestyle (24.58). She is a member of Itoman Swimming School Tatebayashi. Among boys, Yusuke Kudo broke the high school record in both the 50m and 100m backstroke, posting 23.97 and 51.70, respectively. The young talent swims at WaterMates Swim Club. Both Uchida and Kudo were designated Swimmer of the Cup. The Itoman Swimming School won the combined title of the Cup.
Meanwhile, young talents took part in the Junior Olympic Cup water polo competition at the Chiba-ken International Swimming Pool. The Yamagata Water Polo Club, Kyoto Tosuikai, Kawaguchi Swimming School, Amatias and Shumei Eiko High School were the best teams in their respective group. More than 1'100 junior water polo players competed in the event, started on March 26. They also had the opportunity to learn about sport values, such as sportsmanship. The MVP (most valuable player) of the water polo competition was Shuma Kawamoto. The great number of participants indicated that water polo is getting more and more popular in Japan.
At senior level, the Japan Olympic Trials for swimming start April 2, 2012 for six days. Many elite swimmers - Kosuke Kitajima, Takeshi Matsuda, Ryosuke Irie, Naoya Tomita, Yuya Horihata, Aya Terakawa, Satomi Suzuki, Shiho Sakai, Natsumi Hoshi and Haruka Ueda - will attend the event in order to secure their ticket for the 2012 London Olympic Games.