Monday, August 3, 2009

Furuhashi, legendary swimmer, dead at 80

Hironoshin Furuhashi

Source: Japan Times

Legendary swimmer and former Japanese Olympic Committee President Hironoshin Furuhashi has died in Rome, where the swimming world championships are being held, a senior Japan Swimming Federation official said Sunday. He was 80.

Furuhashi, nicknamed the "Flying fish of Fujiyama," was discovered dead lying in his hotel room bed Sunday morning. The cause of death was not immediately known.

"After getting the mournful news, I really was completely in shock. I am very upset," said current JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda. "He was a JOC adviser who acted as a looking glass for us and he was the pride of the sports world. He was working tirelessly till the end in our bid to bring the (2016) Olympics to Tokyo."

A national hero who held a number of key posts in the sports world and was honorary president of the Japan Swimming Federation, Furuhashi set world records in the men's 400-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle events at the national championships in 1948.

He set the marks at the same time of the 1948 London Olympics, which Japan was not invited to participate in for its role in World War II.


Most people forget how good Japan was in sports in the 40s, 50s and 60s with their swimmers and gynmasts.

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