Aquatics honoured at the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards
South African open water swimmer Natalie du Toit, who is breaking down the barriers between disabled and able-bodied sport, recently received the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award, in a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
A delighted Natalie said: "It is a great honour to be receiving this prestigious Award. It is the third time that I've been to the Laureus Awards and the second time that I've been nominated. In 2010 we will be holding the soccer World Cup, and to hold South Africa's name high is very special for me. Being a Friend & Ambassador for Laureus makes it very special for me to see what sport can do, how sports people can go into communities and really uplift them. I've seen those community projects, so to Laureus 'well done'."
Diving Mexican legend Joaquin Capilla passed away
Mexico’s most medalled athlete in the Olympics, diver Joaquin Capilla died on May 8, 2010 in Mexico City, at the age of 81. Capilla, an inspiring idol for the divers and all sportsmen in the country, has been gold medallist in the 10m platform at the 1956 Games in Melbourne (AUS), silver medallist in the same event in 1952 (Helsinki, FIN), and bronze medallist twice (1948, London, 10m platform; 1956, Melbourne, 3m springboard).
After this unparalleled successes in Mexico’s sports history, Capilla, born on December 23, 1928 became very popular in his country and was even invited to participate in some movies.
FINA President welcomes you to the new website
Thanks to a new image and improved navigation tools, the promotion of our aquatic disciplines of Swimming, Water Polo, Diving, Synchronised Swimming and Open Water Swimming is also significantly enhanced. With this “refreshed” version of our site, FINA improves its communication with the protagonists of our Sport and certainly provides a better showcase of our activities in the five continents.
News round-up from Germany
After more than three years of renovation and an amount of 16.6m € spent, the so-called “Schwimmoper” has been reopened in Wuppertal. The symbolic “baptism” was named after Peter Nocke, the nine-time European champion (1974 and 1977) who also got the gold in 1975 in the 4x200m freestyle representing West Germany at the World Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Mind over Matter
The success of Junya Koga, a Japanese backstroke star, owes more to the strength of mind than to hard work. His experiences of karate practice have given him new strength and led him to new heights in swimming.
The 22-year-old sprinter, who won the gold medal in the men’s 100m backstroke at the FINA World Championships Rome 2009, began to attend Karate practice in December last year after his acupuncturist, Hiroshi Shiraishi, introduced him to karate master Kenji Ushiro. “Thank all the people around you and do not forget it,” told him Shiraishi, who is known for taking care of many top athletes, such as former athletics’ super star Carl Lewis at Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and Daichi Suzuki, who won the gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Ushiro, who learnt the old-style karate of Okinawa, had advised him, “Be prepared in your mind”.
North America is coming back
The last FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy, held in November 2009 in Montreal (CAN), gave fans a rare glimpse of something that had not occurred since 1996: a country other than Russia at the top of the podium. Three gold medals (highlight team, thematic duet and thematic team) secured Canada’s victory at the World Trophy, opening a door that had been closed for more than a decade.
For 25 years, the United States and Canada made a “gold-medal relay” of the main competitions around the globe, but the Russians have exerted their domination since 1997. With Canada’s late success, many synchronised swimming fans and specialists now ask the question: “Can the ‘founders’ regain their former glory?"
Mitcham, the man with the Midas touch
Matthew Mitcham is a young man who knows his place in the world of diving and more importantly knows his place in the world. The 2008 Olympic diving gold medallist wants to make a difference, especially in a sports mad country dominated by four football codes and what seems like a continuous game of cricket.
One star, one discipline: Trent Grimsey
Australia and open water swimming are deeply connected. The reasons are many: the first, and most obvious, is the fact that the enormous country is surrounded by water; the second is the passion of Australians for swimming, a discipline in which they share world supremacy with the United States; the third is a reason that will remain forever a part of FINA’s history: the first open water swimming event contested at a FINA World Championships was held in the 1991 edition of the competition in… Perth, along the Swan River in Western Australia.
Asia Swimming Federation launches new website
On April 24, 2010, the Asia Swimming Federation (AASF) announced the launch of its new website on the occasion of the Award Ceremony of the 4th Asian Open Water Championships which concluded on April 22, 2010, in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Mr. Husain Al-Musallam, Vice President of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) officiated the launching of the Asia Swimming Federation (AASF) website and congratulated AASF Director General, Mr. Taha Sulaiman Al-Kishry, for his hard work and contributions.
AASF new website can be visited at:www.asiaswimmingfederation.org
FINA Vice President Sam Ramsamy chairs IOC Sport for All Commission
After being re-elected for a new term at the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FINA Vice President Sam Ramsamy (RSA) was recently appointed Chair of the IOC Sport for All Commission. He will now oversee all IOC’s activities in this area. Moreover, Mr. Ramsamy is also Member of the following IOC Commissions: Culture & Olympic Education; Press; Olympic Programme; Coordination for the Games of the XXX Olympiad – London 2012.
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