Japan’s Masako Kaneko, who trained Olympic synchronized swimming medalists such as 1988 Seoul Games double bronze winner Mikako Kotani, has been chosen as recipient of the International Olympic Committee’s inaugural Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards, a source said Tuesday.
Kaneko, 73, long headed the synchronized swimming committee of the Japan Swimming Federation and laid the foundation for Japan in the discipline along with national team head coach Masayo Imura, having served as the Japanese squad’s team leader at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The IOC established the award to recognize the accomplishments of coaches, who have retired from coaching an elite athlete, and their contributions to the lives of Olympians and to the Olympic movement.
An award ceremony is scheduled to take place Thursday in the Swiss city of Lausanne, where the IOC is headquartered.
For the IOC Women and Sport Awards for Asia, the Japan Ladies Tennis Federation was selected as winner for its social contributions, including organizing the Pink Ribbon Ladies Tennis tournament to raise awareness about the early detection of breast cancer, the source said.
The award is aimed at acknowledging individuals’ or organizations’ contributions toward women’s participation in sports.