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Organizing and Officiating at the World Aquatic Championships

Over 30 officials from around the world help organize and officiate the open water swimming events at the World Aquatic Championships held in Fukuoka, Japan this July.

The races are held in a 1660 meter course in Hakata Bay where the athletes swim three laps in the 5 km race, six laps in the 10 km event, and four laps of 1500 meter each by the 4 team swimmers.

These officials include the members of the World Aquatics Technical Open Water Swimming Committee, under the leadership of Sid Cassidy, and the local Japanese staff under the leadership of Osamu Kameda and the medical staff of Dr. Motoshima, Dr. Tatsumura, and Mr. Saeki.

Cassidy explains, “Much of the organizational success we are enjoying here can be credited directly to the local organizers, the Japanese Amateur Swimming Association, and especially our very own TOWSC member Ioki Ichikawa (shown above with starter Sid Cassidy and assistant referee Luís Baptista), who has truly been an MVP in his home country.  He has been critical in every phase of preparing this venue and this event to be the absolute best. It is an honor to be here and work with him and all of these wonderful volunteers.”

World Aquatics Technical Open Water Swimming Committee Members:

  • Sid Cassidy, Chairman (shown above)
  • Ferry Weertman, Vice Chairman
  • John West, Secretary
  • Abdul Monem Khamis Abddullah Al Alawi
  • Petros Arestis
  • Baret Avedikoglu
  • Luís Baptista
  • Jorge Delgado
  • Szabolcs Fodor
  • Damian van de Berg
  • Tomas Haces German
  • Ioki Ichikawa
  • Britta Kamrau
  • Avelino Gomes Monteiro
  • Emile van Veenhuyzen
  • Tanya Bogomilova
  • Ho Ming Edward Cheng
  • Ziyad Kashmiri
  • Andrea Prayer
  • Juan Carlos Tenorio
  • Nikolay Zagritsenko
  • Zouheir El Moufti
  • Bénédicte Compois

World Aquatics Championships Technical Open Water Swimming Officials:

  • Marianna Rita Lázár
  • Celia Honiss
  • Haytham Abdelhamid Emam Abdelsattar
  • Kimbungu Erik T. Neto Kiambata
  • Frits Albert Schreuders
  • Yew Siang Soh
  • Ryujiro Hagiwara
  • Yuichi Tateyama
  • Teruko Masujima
  • Tamako Hatanaka
  • Mika Kakizaki
  • Yuka Kawaharayama
  • Takashi Fujisawa
  • Muneto Katou
  • Kazui Ogasawara
  • Kazuhito Watanabe
  • Ryo Tsunashima
  • Eiichi Ishii

Similar to officials in water polo, artistic swimming, and the diving events, the open water swimming officials have to make split-second decisions with no help from replays and no second guessing. It is a pressure-packed role especially since so many swimmers are competing in tight packs. They are responsible for giving warning whistles and giving yellow cards and red cards (disqualifications).

While there are opportunities for protests by Team Leaders if there are controversial judgment calls, most of the infractions are far away from coaches and Team Leaders and are never questioned.

© 2023 Daily News of Open Water Swimming

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