Japanese Olympian Kenji Watanabe Passes Away at Home in Tokyo

Kenji Watanabe, a three-time Olympic breaststroke for Japan, has passed away. He was found dead at his home early Monday morning, Sept. 18. He was 48 years old.

Watanabe swam in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics, and his best finish came in 1992, when he took seventh in the men’s 200 breast final. Watanabe was also a two-time Asian Games champion in the 200 breast in 1986 and 1990.

Read more from Yahoo Japan by clicking here.



  1. Denisa Panochová

    what is a cause of his death? cannot find out..

  2. avatar

    These stupid stories never publish the cause of death or even ask. They are completely useless reporters. The guy is 48 and was an athlete. Dying at that age is not natural.

    • avatar

      You can have a heart attack at any age! And even be an athlete! No guarantees folks!

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

Current Swimming World Issue

Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here