Lifesaving World Championships 2024

The Rising Sun rises – Japan set to shine at LWC2024

Consistent results saw Japan finish seventh on the Overall Open National Teams standings at Riccione 2022 and they are poised for another strong tilt when their team hits the Gold Coast at Lifesaving World Championships 2024 later this year.

They will announce their team via a live stream on Friday evening at 6pm local time, 7pm AEST – click here to access the live stream.

The squad will no doubt be buoyed by the performance of Shogo Horie at the recent Australian Championships who upgraded his 2023 bronze to gold in the beach flags, beating a red hot field.

Someone who has witnessed the growth in lifesaving is Takuya Iritani, the current President of the Japan Lifesaving Association.

Takuya represented Japan at Rescue ‘98 in Auckland where he competed against the likes of Australia’s Kane Heussner and New Zealand’s Cory Hutchings. He remained an active part of the sport and was the national team manager at the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Championships.

Now sitting on ILS meetings as President of his Association, Takuya can appreciate everything that comes together to make a successful Lifesaving World Championships having experience the event from all angle. 

“I have experienced the Lifesaving World Championships in many roles,” he said. “I have enjoyed each and every role and I would like to see many Japanese athletes and officials do the same at the Lifesaving World Championships 2024 on Australia’s Gold Coast.”

With his experience at the Lifesaving World Championships tipping over a quarter of a century on the Gold Coast, Takuya is clear about what what keeps him coming back and what he expects later this year: “It is to meet friends from various countries whom I have met through lifesaving.”

While not planning to participate in the Masters on the Gold Coast, Takuya remains confident the future of Japanese lifesaving is in good hands.

Participation numbers continue to grow in his country, which is seeing better results from individuals, especially those who have travelled overseas to train and compete.

“In Japan, the number of children of elementary school age participating in lifesaving is increasing,” he said, “which is expected to expand the base of lifesaving and lifesaving sports.”

The Lifesaving World Championships 2024 is supported by Experience Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.

Image: Deepblue Media