Shinji Higashijima, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

The Japanese leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup is coming up soon. It will be held on October 20-21, 2010 at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Centre (T-TISC) in Tokyo. More than 17 of the world's biggest swimming stars - including Leisel Jones (AUS), Natalie Coughlin (USA), Cameron van den Burgh (RSA) and Roland Shoeman (RSA) just to name some - will attend the event.Tokyo hosts a leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup for the first time. Such privilege shows that Japan is now strong on the international swimming scene. Japan sent eight swimmers (four women and four men) to the Brazilian leg of the World Cup, held on September 10-12 in Rio de Janeiro. The Japanese team collected seven gold medals there and is ready to win at home in the upcoming meet.

Another aquatic sport, water polo, is becoming more popular and stronger in Japan. The nationals of the 84th Men’s Water Polo and the 27th Women’s Water Polo were held on October 3, 2010 at the T-TISC. For the men’s final, All Nippon Sports University beat All Tsukuba University 16-6, while in the women’s final, Fujimura Swim School won over Nittai Club 12-8. All Nippon Sports University obtained its 33rd victory trophy, totalling eight consecutive wins. Fujimura Swim School got its 6th victory after six years of absence. About 3,000 spectators gathered to the venue and enjoyed the games. Japan's top water polo players are now ready for the Asian Games, due to take place in China in November.

More aquatic news with Masters: The Women’s Masters Festival 2010 was held at the Yokohama International Swimming Pool on October 2-3, 2010. This is one of the biggest swimming championships in Japan, with more than 3,500 female swimmers competing in the event.