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New Japanese record in 200m Butterfly.
Make up for Beijing in London!!

Ms. Natsumi Hoshi

Natsumi Hoshi won the screening for the 2011 international swimming contest. Her time was 2 minutes 6.05 seconds, a new Japanese record*. She was selected as a member of the Japan team while in high school and took part in the Beijing Olympics! She is now one of the leading Japanese female swimmers.

The first medal she won at an international meet made her so happy!

She started swimming from about 18 months old. Advised by a teacher of the swimming school she attended, she started butterfly drills when a first grade pupil. It seems her star was in the ascendant, but surprisingly, her best rank in junior high was 4th in a national meet, unable to mount the podium.

Hoshi attracted attention with one bound when she was a high school student. Recommended by her coach, she participated in an international competition, "Beijing Open," for the first time and broke her own record for the women's 200m butterfly by three seconds and won the race ranked second in Japan's all-time list. She reached second at Japan Swim, and this unknown high school student won a ticket to the Beijing Olympics. "All of a sudden, people were paying attention to me and I felt strong pressure. I didn't want to lose, so I tried to maintain a target of 'breaking my record' that I made at the beginning of the year." She participated in a training camp of the national team, with Kosuke Kitajima and other leading swimmers in Japan, and was greatly stimulated. As she says, "I'm resilient against pressure," and broke her own record at the Beijing Olympics, though she came in tenth. "I really wanted to take part in the final race. It was heartbreaking to watch the final from a spectator's seat. At that time, she was not satisfied with the pleasure of representing Japan but felt vexed at her defeat.

She then entered WASEDA. Her sporting life appeared to be smooth, but in the spring of her third year at high school just before entering university, she twisted her ankle, and at Japan Swim in April, she ranked fifth, and was forced to give up swimming in international races that year. It was her first major setback. "I was really angry, but when I was distressed, many people helped me out. WASEDA team members supported me, too." Aware of help from people around her again, Hoshi won two prizes in the women's 100m and 200m Butterfly in the Inter College Swimming and made a comeback.

Her advance continued into the next year and beyond. In her second year at WASEDA, she won silver medal in the women's 200m Butterfly at Asian Swimming and stepped onto the podium for the first time in an international competition. In third year, as mentioned earlier, she broke the Japanese record of the bronze medal winner at the Athens Olympics, Yuko Nakanishi. "I continue to swim because I like it. I don't feel happy when I cannot get a good record, but I never forget the fact I love swimming best. The presence of those supporters makes me strong, too. I'm on good terms with my fellow swimmers on the team, and we go out for dinner or karaoke, singing songs of Arashi and AKB48 and cheer ourselves up!"

Her next target is the London Olympics in the summer of 2012. "I will make up for the loss in Beijing at London. I want to get a medal there!" Stay tuned to Hoshi who is making major advances on the global forum.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Much anticipated new star!

At Asia Swim 2010. She is in the front row, second from right.

At 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming

*She recorded 2 minutes 5.91 seconds, breaking the Japanese record at the 2011 World Championships by 0.14 seconds. Ranked fourth. She was 0.1 seconds behind the third-placed swimmer, missing the podium, but was the only swimmer to broke the Japanese record.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ms. Natsumi Hoshi

Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1990. Graduated from Kasukabe Kyoei High School and entered WASEDA. Third year of the School of Sport Sciences. Belongs to Daikyo Swimming School. Silver medalist at 2010 Asian Swimming. In June 2011, she won the European GP race for three consecutive years, breaking the record at every meet. Natsumi and her mother are both fans of a Japanese pop group, Arashi. On the day after returning from a European GP race, she went to a gig of Arashi. "When I'm on tour, my mother records TV programs featuring Arashi even if I don't ask her (laughing)."