Press Release - for immediate publication.

The 29th Japan Open Water Ski Tournament
A World Games 2001 Akita Pre-Event


IWSF Secretary General Graziano Tognala reports from the 29th Japan Open Water Ski Tournament competition, featuring Slalom, Figures and Jumping. The event took place in Akita, Japan from 7 to 9 July and was an official pre-event for the World Games organised in Japan in 2001.

A typhoon passed over the area of Akita during these days, but did not keep the competition from taking place regularly. Athletes from Australia, New Zealand and Korea participated.  Three days of competition gave us ample time to appreciate the infrastructure and the water site as venue for the next World Games in 2001.The venue, Ogata Mura, is a channel of 80 meters wide, extremely calm and well protected, immersed in the green fields of the farmers in an enormous polder won from the see years ago, at 45 km from Akita. In the same area, on a rugby field nearby, the parachutist competition (FAI) will take place in the days preceding Waterskiing.
The accessibility and infrastructures on land have been improved and potentated.
The top of the Akita Organising Committee (AOC) was present at the competition, and the representatives of the Japanese Water Ski Association (JWSA) and the IWSF Secretary General could show several efforts carried out to bring the site at the best possible efficiency from the next Games in Akita.
The Opening Ceremony took place in the Main Conference Room of the Ogata Hotel at a five minutes walk from the site. The local authorities, who contributed greatly to the realisation of the Water Ski centre that did not exist until one year ago, the Mayor of Ogata, the Prefect of Akita, and a large delegation of the AOC under direction of the AOC General Director Yukio Yasuda were all received by the President of the JWSA Masayuki Suzuki.
From the 20th to the 26th of August 2001, 90 Water Skiers will compete here, under the control of 20 judges, in 3 different disciplines: Tournament, Barefoot and Wakeboard.
Tournament will be present with 45 athletes, 15 women and 30 men, competing in the specialities of Slalom, Jump and Figures. Medals will be awarded to the best overall athletes, that is who achieves the best results adding all three specialities, and therefore real complete athletes.
Barefoot consists in the same specialities as tournament, with medals for the best overall athletes, but the peculiarity is that barefoot athletes do not use ski but their "bare feet". 20 athletes, divided in 7 women and 13 men will participate in barefoot.
Wakeboard is our newest discipline, present for the first time at the World Games with 25 athletes ( 9 women and 16 men), who will compete in freeride.
All athletes will be selected on the base of the World Ranking Lists, in order to assure a world-wide and top level competition.
See you in Akita next year! 
Graziano Tognala
Secretary General
International Water Ski Federation
Suzuki, Arai and Tognala   
Left to right: President Suzuki (JWSA), Technical Delegate Arai (JWSA), Secretary General Tognala (IWSF)
The venue, Ogata Mura 
The site of  the 29th Japan Open Tournament and the Akita World Games: Ogata Mura
Tognala and 3 JWSA riders
IWSF Secretary General Tognala with three young riders (wakeboarders) of the Japanese Water Ski Association:
From left to right: Ms. Mero (12), Mr. Grim (6), Mr. Dome (14)

For any further information please feel free to contact the IWSF Headquarters.
IWSF Headquarters
CP 5537 BO22
40134 Bologna Italy
Tel: +39.051.615.29.56
fax: +39.051615.5015
email: g.tognala@bo.nettuno.it

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