Shinri Shioura, the Japanese and Asian Record-holder in the 50 freestyle, will be joining the burgeoning professional training group ADN based out of Italy.
ADN announced the move on its website, noting that Shioura joins a sprint group that is pretty loaded leading into this summer’s World Championships.
ADN, under head coach Andrea Di Nino, recently added Trinidad & Tobago’s Olympic medalist George Bovell to their roster, and also are home to the Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov, giving them three different sprinters who have cracked 22 seconds in their careers. ADN also has a pair of sprinters just on the other side of that barrier in Belgium’s Francois Heersbrandt and Russia’s Oleg Tikhobaev.
Shioura is one of Japan’s key swimmers heading into worlds – the Japanese have excelled recently in the IMs with Kosuke Hagino, the backstroke with Ryosuke Irie, the butterfly with Daiya Seto and can hold their own in breaststroke with Yasuhiro Koseki. It’s starting to look like a national team that could make major waves internationally, but its one glaring weakness is in sprint freestyle, extra important because of its major impact on relays.
But Shioura, who last year became the first Japanese man to break 22 in the 50, has been looking like the man to pick up that slack. If he responds well to the training at ADN, Japan suddenly has a tough-looking medley relay and a well-rounded roster that could put them high up in the final medal tallies this summer and next, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.