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Mr. Junya Koga

Mr. Junya Koga of the Swimming Club is Victorious at World Championships Establishes Japanese record of 52.26 seconds for the 100 meter backstroke

On July 28th, at the World Swimming Championships, Mr. Junya Koga (School of Sports Sciences, 4th year) of the Swimming Club won the finals of the men's 100 meter backstrokes by posting a Japanese record time of 52.26 seconds. His victory was the first gold medal for Japan in this tournament, which is being held in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Koga's gold medal at the World Swimming Championships was the first such accomplishment in competitive swimming since Mr. Kosuke Kitajima, who won gold medals in the breaststroke at two consecutive Olympics. Despite high expectations, Mr. Koga was not chosen as a representative of Japan at last summer's Olympics. Mr. Koga used this disappointment as motivation and engaged in rigorous training to redevelop both his mind and body. At the Japanese Championships held in April, he established new Japanese records in both the 50 meter and 100 meter backstroke. Mr. Koga got himself into top condition for the current World Championships, and he rid himself of past frustrations with a stellar victory.

Mr. Koga expressed joy at his victory by saying "When I looked at the electronic scoreboard, the result that I saw was like something out of a dream. I was able to come in as No. 1 thanks to the support and teaching of the people around me. I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped me."

Mr. Koga is also a favorite to win the men's 50 meter backstroke which begins on August 1st.

Message from Mr. Junya Koga

I am truly happy that I was able to swim my best at an important tournament like the current World Championships. Also, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the staff who supported me during practice and swimming meets, as well as to all fans and all people associated with Waseda who cheered for me.

After listening to Kimigayo (Japan's national anthem) on the award platform, Waseda's school song Miyako-no-Seihoku (Northwest of City) and cheering song Konpeki-no-Sora (Azure Sky) drifted through my mind. Thank you very much for your support.

After I finished swimming, I was overwhelmed at the scene which unfolded before my eyes. It was something that I had seen even in my dreams and had imagined before the race. However, with the passing of time, I gradually came to realize the victory that I had won.

I was able to swim well in the 100 meters, which is not a strong event for me. However, my specialty, the 50 meters race, still remains, as well as the medley relay which is the final event of this tournament. Therefore, I want to refocus and swim my hardest in order to produce a result which is satisfying to both me and to everyone at Waseda University.

I would like to ask for the support of everyone at Waseda University as I prepare for the 50 meter backstroke and the medley relay. Please cheer for me and for Waseda!

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