One other thing I may like to add about Shinji though, on goodwill. I'm very glad to state this.
What strikes me isn't as much the way he swims, but rather the way he swims given that he doesn't have any previous competitive background. Can anyone on this site quote me many more examples of swimmers having tackled on free, passed, say, the age of 35? Or even 30?
I don't know him well enough to have a clear idea of his potential as a swimmer; that is, would he end up spitting his left lung just trying to keep up with our varsity level folks throughout one single week of training? I don't know maybe. But the possibility for him to rapidly adapt and make his place among what many consider as being elite level is more than real I think. I wouldn't bet on a 43yo to beat a young rooster over 1500, but I've seen at least one occurrence of someone his age, master level (previous background though), training with a young elite squad and he could keep up. Right now, some masters of this age can easily lower the 1500 under 19. Can Shinji do it? The best in our province is worth about that, 18flat, 17:55 (SCM). How would Shinji compete against him? I donno. Holding 1:15 would bring him to the final touch in 18:45. We're very very far from a world record, that's not even worth top 10 in our country's national championship. But still, most folks going under 20 DO have a competitive background. They do. Certainly do.
He choose TI as a vehicle, and it turned out to be a great choice for him. Would it be conceivable to reach the same level without TI, I doubt so.
Now, with all that said, freaks exist all over. The best swimmer (potential wise) may not even know how to swim yet, and may be passed 25yo, who can tell. Shinji has demonstrated outstanding proprioception, flexibility, and understanding of what it takes to swim the free.
2nd, in Japan, there's a strong culture of gesture. it is more than probable that in spite of having tackled on swimming at late age, he did commit in childhood to activities that involved growing this exceptional flexibility/proprioception.
Nevertheless, someone that has as primary mission to bring a non swimmer into the world of competitive swimming like me, it is very motivating to know that at least someone "did it", with outstanding result.
I continue wishing that he might some day compete for real, and not just show fancy slow rate clips. But what he's done thus far remains a great, inspiring, achievement.
Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 01-23-2015 at 10:33 PM.