Shinji, Higashijima, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

The Oiso Long Beach 10km Open Water Swimming Championships were held in a lazy river (i.e. artificially created water current) at the Oiso Prince Hotel in Kanagawa-ken, Japan, on July 4, 2010. Swimmers had to complete a rectangular 500-meter long closed-circuit loop twenty times, counter-clockwise and without turns (two length sides being 250-meter long and two width sides 10-meter long each).

It was the first time in Japan’s open water swimming history that a 10km race took place in a lazy river, during which the water current was completely stopped. The winners were Ayano Yamaguchi, timing 2h00m30s, in the women’s event, and Yasunari Hirai, finishing in 1h58m43s in the men’s race. Additionally, a 3km race was held, at the end of which Miwa Kohara among women and Hironoshin Munakata among men, took the gold. In total, 200 swimmers took part in the event, which gathered about 800 spectators on the shores of the lazy river.

More aquatic news from Japan will come with the Japan Open 2010 – the nationals of Open Water Swimming (10km race for men and women) – to be held at Tateyama-Hojyo Beach, Chiba-ken on July 18, 2010.

The country’s giant nationals of Masters Swimming (Long Course) are also up-coming, and will take place at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Complex on July 16-19, 2010. Many meet, national and world records are expected to be broken.