Two former Japan Olympic Games medal winners, Saho Harada and Naoko Kawashima, are currently conducting training in synchronised swimming in Malta.
They were introduced to the local scene by Sannat resident Akiko Miyahara with the intention of teaching local children this discipline in swim sport.
Harada, 27, and Kawashima, 29, have been active in the sport for 18 years and train daily in the pool and gym where they practise ballet, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.
Both took part in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and formed part of the Japan team that won a silver medal. They also represented the country in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, winning a bronze medal in the duet event.
Saho and Naoko, who retired from competition after Beijing, introduced themselves by distributing information leaflets at the National Pool and the response so far has been encouraging with lessons already taking place at Tal-Qroqq and the Sliema ASC pitch.
When asked how they’re getting on, Saho said that the Maltese girls are good at swimming and have the potential to learn and the ability to progress.
She said synchronised swimming is difficult and needs lot of dedication, sacrifice and training. The sport also requires a good ear for music.
Those interested in synchronised swimming may meet Saho and Naoko at the Sliema pitch on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9.30 and 11 a.m.