Japan's "god mother" in synchronized swimming Masayo Imura is to
sign a contract and lead Chinese team in the 2008 Beijing
Lmura's coaching evokes a great disturbance in Japan, who has
been criticized betraying her country, though China's General
Administration of Sports keeps low profile regarding to the top
international coach's arrival, China Youth Daily reports
The 56-year-old woman coach headed Japan's synchronized swimming
team since 1978, helping Japanese team in the past 30 years win
three gold, one silver and four bronze medals in Asian and Olympic
Masayo Imura officially announced her plan to become the head
coach of Chinese synchronized swimmer during recently concluded
Doha Asian Games. The news break out only days after China exceeded
Japan, which had been the dominant power in Asian synchronized
swimming, defeats in both the duet and team events at Asian
An anonymous officer didn't admit Masayo Imura has already
arrived in Beijing and began to consult with Chinese sports
administration on the contract until afternoon of Christmas
He further explained that the low-profile attitude has resulted
form the Japan' over-extreme deprecation against the coach's new
Imura held a press conference as leaving Japan, clarifying that
she is not helping China to beat over Japan, but would like to
cultivate leadership to compete against non-Asian dominating powers
like Europe, America, and Australia in international synchronized
"I believe Japan's international profile and leadership in the
sport will beneficial if a person from the country coaches the
national team of an Olympic host." Lmura said.
Yu Li, senior official with General Administration of Sports is
critical of constant reports on Japan's coach in synchronized
swimming Masayo Imura,
"It is not the first time to invite a foreign coach for the
national team, Yu said with a sigh, "Why don't' you all so
interested in it this time?"
Yu didn't hope the media to exaggerate the Japanese coach's
capacity, for lmura is to guide training irregularly.
"We didn't expect that Masayo Imura's arrival has echoed
throughout the Japanese society, on one hand, "Yu said, "It is
common to for a foreign coach works for Chinese national teams.
"More importantly," Yu showed her worries, "what I am concerned
about is the overweening coverage would be likely to affect Chinese
coaches' work passion."
Another officer in the center said that the agreement hasn't
arrived yet as reported.
China synchronized swimming team previously was considering
Canada or Russian coaches, but the training programs they set down
was not suitable for Chinese swimmer. The plan thus delayed,
another officer told the newspaper.
Picking up China from another four countries at the end, Masayo
Imura showed her firm in coaching Chinese team. "If proper,
reporters will be invited to watch the swimming team's training
programs to taste the different "sino-japan" cooperation."
"The women coach is to head the national team soon despite the
consult still under discussion," the officer added.
(China Daily December 27, 2006)