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.
DWS 2010 - Veracruz (II), Day 2: China conquers the four titles at stake
China confirmed once again its status of powerhouse in the discipline by conquering the four titles at stake during the second and last day of the FINA/LI-NING Diving World Series in Veracruz, Mexico, on April 21, 2010. The perfect dives of the Chinese team closed the third date of the Series, with a myriad of “10” marks, sweeping gold in all four events.
DWS 2010 - Veracruz (II), Day 1: Mexico’s Yahel Castillo surprises at third meet
With Yahel Castillo’s gold medal gained in the 3m springboard as well as Paola Espinosa and pair German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia picking up silver in the 10m platform and the 10m platform synchro events respectively, the Mexican delegation delighted the home crowd during the third meet of the FINA / Li-Ning Diving World Series 2010, which is repeated in the Reform Laws Aquatic Complex, in Veracruz.
The third meet was initially scheduled on April 23-24 in Sheffield (GBR) but due to restrictions on air traffic in the European sky, the meet had to be cancelled.
No title for Kitajima at Japan’s national championships
Japan Swim 2010 – Japan’s swimming national championships – has successfully ended on April 18, 2010, at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Complex.
The 20-year-old Ryo Tateishi swam very well and won three titles in the men’s breaststroke events, clocking 27.66 in the 50m, 59.84 in the 100m and 2:09.21 in the 200m. Satomi Suzuki did a good job too in the women’s breaststroke events. She also won three titles, clocking 31.70, 1:07.64 and 2:24. 27.
Federica Pellegrini shines at the spring Italian championships
Riccione, April 14-18 2010 – three races and as many titles for Federica Pellegrini at the spring Italian championships. Beyond having dominated the 200m and 400m freestyle events – distances in which she scored the season’s best world performances (1:56.23 and 4:04.30 respectively) – the two-time world champion has heaved herself up in the 800m freestyle (8:27.54), event in which she had to contend with the likes of Alessia Filippi, winner of the 200m backstroke title in 2:11.97, but the latter had to stop the freestyle race due to a shoulder problem.
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