10/20/15 In Briefs: Sri Lankan Issues, HK Race Dispute, New Swim Book

Two Sri Lankan Swimming Federations?…..Confusion still exists within the swimming federation of Sri Lanka, as the country’s Ministry of Sports only recognizes what is termed the ‘new’ Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU New), while FINA still only recognizes the ‘old’ SLASU. As such, Sri Lankan swimmers have had to compete under the FINA flag – essentially country-less – until FINA indeed recognizes the new organization.  In the meantime, the SLASU ‘new’ is barred from sending swimming to international competitions, while the ‘old’ is prohibited from conducting selections within Sri Lanka. With the upcoming South Asian Games commencing on January 10th, Manoj Abeysinghe, the Head Coach of Killer-Whale Aquatics (KWA) says that “time is running out. The impasse has been created due to the shortsightedness on the part of officials.” FINA has suspended elections until such time that Sri Lanka’s sports laws are changed to comply with its requirements. suspended in June – 

Disqualifications in Hong Kong’s Cross-Harbor Race…..Hong Kong’s fifth annual Cross-Harbor open water race took place over the weekend, but not without controversy. Ten participants in the event claim they were unfairly disqualified for jumping the gun, saying instead that it is the organizers of the event who are to blame for ‘poor arrangements’. With more than 2,300 swimmers competing in the 1.5km event at Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier and Quarry Bay Park, the disqualified athletes point to the organizers’ failure to handle the record number of participants.  Defending champion Fiona Chan On-yee commented, “The arrangement this year is worse than that of last year. Many groups started the race at the same time today.” Chan stated that, without hearing the actual starting gun, she simply followed the lead of the other swimmers. According to Chan, the organizer should have restarted the race. Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association honorary secretary and organizing committee chairman David Chiu Chin-hung said the start was “confusing,” but added that match officials appropriately identified those swimmers who jumped the gun.

“The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory”…..Author Julie Checkoway has released a new book, based on the story of a makeshift Japanese-American swim team composed of impoverished children who worked in Hawaii’s sugar can fields circa 1930s. Soichi Sakamoto is credited with organizing practices for the children in the irrigation ditches of the fields in which they labored, setting the Olympics as the goal of his club ‘even before most of the children were remotely competitive in the pool.’ Through archival research and surviving team member interviews, Checkoway details in the book how Sakamoto was ahead of his time in terms of training techniques, including the use of kickboards, fast-slow progressions and drylands.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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