Osamu Tsurumine, Japanese Breaststroke Star, Passes Away at 73


Photo Courtesy: The Swimming Magazine Tokyo

TOKYO – Osamu Tsurumine, a breaststroke star for Japan in the 60s, passed away at the age of 73 on Feb. 2 due to pneumonia.

Tsurumine placed sixth in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, having just picked up competitive swimming when he joined the Self Defense Force in 1961.

After the 1964 Tokyo Games, Tsurumine also participated at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Following his retirement from competitive swimming, Tsurumine devoted his life to high school education and also became a high school swim coach.  He continued his contributions to Japanese breaststroke as he helped develop Nobutake Taguchi, the men’s 100-meter breaststroke gold medalist at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Tsurumine also coached Shigehiro Takahashi, who set the Japanese record in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Tsurumine served as a national team coach for Japan at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Special thanks to Hideki Mochizuki for contributing this report.


1 comment

  1. avatar
    Georges Kiehl, France

    Very sad to read this. I competed against him at the World University Games in Tokyo 1967, we both swam the final of the 200m breaststroke. Later on, I had the chance to meet him in 2001 at the World Championships in Fukuoka. I have a picture of this.