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British Swimmers Meet Yokohama! ~ 2018 Japan Para Swimming Championship

The City of Yokohama receives assistance in writing reports from everyone at Tsuzuki Junior Editorial Board, located in Tsuzuki Ward, home to Yokohama International Pool and site of the British Olympic Team’s preparation camp.
This article covers 「2018 Japan Para Swimming Championship」held on September, 2018.
Please check it out!

British Swimmers Meet Yokohama! ~ 2018 Japan Para Swimming Championship

2018 Japan Para Swimming Championship was held at Yokohama International Swimming Pool in Kitayamata, and 12 young reporters were there to cheer all the swimmers. First, they checked the program schedule which was handed out at the game venue to see who are participating from the UK in the game. Once a British athlete appeared, everyone shouted “GO GB!” with the British flags in their hands, and the rest of time, they enjoyed the cheering with the calls of “Nippon cha-cha-cha!”. Their shouts have surely reached the athletes.

Here are some reporters’ voice.

I was surprised many of the British swimmers made a new record as they performed. I would like to deepen our friendship with England toward Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Shinnosuke Kubo

All the handicapped swimmers have performed brilliantly at the Japan Para Championship. Every swimmer was making effort to do their best. I was impressed to see them work hard with never-give-up spirit even some of them finish in last place and everyone never stop challenging even with their disabilities. I would like them to keep challenging.
Sayuki Yamada

As I watched the Japan Para Swimming Championship, I was strongly impressed by one athlete with only one arm. He (or she) finished swimming 100m, and what is more, his (or her) record was about the same as mine. It was a great experience to watch this competition.
Akari Shikata

It was the first time for me to watch handicapped athletes’ sports competition. I thought it was a valuable experience to watch the live game so I have already been excited before the game began.
The United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan all participated in the Championship. I was so surprised that the athletes in every country swam so fast.Furthermore, I was amazed that there were many athletes who made the new championship record or new Japan record. Their swimming form were very nice that completely inspired me to learn by watching.
I especially focused on the British athletes (I, of course, cheered for Japan too!) because one of the British pre-games camps for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Tsuzuki-ku.
I hope all Japanese will support the British athletes as well Japanese athletes with the “GO GB! (=GREAT BRITAIN)” slogan to make our friendship closer and stronger.
Kiyori Tanaka

I watched the final race in the afternoon. The first thing surprised me was that there were so many people here to watch the game.
On one side of the seats, all the business people from the various organizations were watching, and the other side was filled with the public of all ages (from children to the elderly).

The photo introduces the awards ceremony for S6 100m Freestyle (Women). Maisie Summers Newton reached the podium with the powerful swimming even she is petite, and she made us a big fan of her.

Another photo introduces the awards ceremony for S10 for the same category. To my surprise, Zara Mullooly is a high school student and is only a year older than me. In 50m Butterfly (Men), a wide range of swimmers like elementary schoolers and middle schoolers participated while middle-aged swimmers performed brilliantly.

The photo below introduces the awards ceremony for S12 100m Freestyle (Men). Stephen Clegg won the first prize and set the new record. He is visually impaired but his pace was as fast as the non-handicapped swimmers. At the first game of the same category, some swimmer performed with backstroke, not crawl which reminded me the idea of thinking outside the box.

Most of the audience was Japanese since the competition was held in Japan, however, everybody supported all athletes regardless of their countries. I think it is one of the good aspects of Para sports.
Many foreign athletes won the first prize at this Championship while many Japanese also reached the podium. I expect the swimming might be the one of the sports that Japanese can win the medal at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. There are many more remarkable swimmers across the world which makes the games tough for Japanese athletes, however, I would like to support not only the Japanese swimmers but also the foreign swimmers from all over the world.
Maka Nakajima

Reported by: Shinnosuke Kubo, Koki Kuwano, Nanako Takahashi, Sayuki Yamada, Mashiro Yamada, Akari Shikata, Riko Matsuoka, Yuri Mori, Ami Hasegawa, Kiyori Tanaka, Maka Nakajima


About Tsuzuki Junior Editorial Board
Tsuzuki Junior Editorial Board started out life in 2009 as a commemorative project in Tsuzuki Ward to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Yokohama, and the 15th anniversary of the creation of Tsuzuki Ward. Today, junior reporters ranging in age from the 5th grade of elementary school to high school students go out and collect news materials, which they use to write articles. They cover not only Tsuzuki Ward but the City of Yokohama as a whole, giving full play to their perspectives and abilities as children.