Imagen
26537-Uchu Tomita photo

Uchu Tomita

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S11, SB11, SM11

Further personal information

Residence
Yokohama, JPN
Occupation
Athlete, Office Worker, Student
Languages
English, Japanese
Higher education
Physical Education - Nihon University: Tokyo, JPN

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age three, and was also a competitive dancer at university. He took up Para swimming in 2013. "As the symptoms progressed, it became difficult to continue with competitive dance, so I was looking for a Para sport. I tried various sports including a blind marathon. At the swimming club, I met people with various disabilities, including those with more severe disabilities than myself, and it made me think that my disability was not something special."
Why this sport?
His parents encouraged him to take up the sport in order to improve his health. He competed in swimming in middle school and high school but stopped after he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. He returned to the sport, initially as a hobby, but decided to focus on it in 2013 after Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Paralympic Games. "At that time I was also working, so I started training on land in parks in the morning, worked as a system engineer during the day, and went swimming at night. After being selected for the national team in 2015, I joined EY Japan as an athlete and decided to take a career in Para swimming seriously."
Club / Team
Graduate School of Nippon Sport Science University [NSSU] [JPN] / EY Japan [JPN]:
Name of coach
Takumi Uegaki [national], JPN

General interest

Nicknames
Space swimmer [his given name Uchu also means space in Japanese]. (Twitter profile, 02 Apr 2021; Instagram profile, 19 Jan 2021)
Hobbies
Reading, yoga. (note.com, 22 Jan 2021)
Most influential person in career
Japanese Para swimmer Takuro Yamada. (Athlete, 11 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
Japanese Para swimmer Takayuki Suzuki. (Athlete, 11 Sep 2019)
Injuries
In 2019 he fractured his left little toe after catching his feet in the lane rope during training. (2020.yahoo.co.jp, 28 Aug 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Spend each day without regrets. If you can't manage to do it, you won't be able to reach your goal." (sanspo.com, 13 Apr 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2018 he received the Yokohama Sports Excellence Award in Japan. (Instagram profile, 28 Jan 2019)

In 2018 he received the Kanagawa Prefecture Sports Excellence Citation Award in Japan. (pref.kanagawa.jp, 30 Nov 2018)
Other sports
Before taking up Para sports, he competed at the All Japan Student Competitive Dance Championship while studying at university. (genetics.qlife.jp, 15 Apr 2021)
Ambitions
To win gold medals in the 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (tokyo2020.org, 29 May 2020)
Impairment
At age 16 he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which first affected his vision in grade 11 at high school. "I didn't expect to be blind at all, so when I got the diagnosis my mind went blank. My parents were also shocked and it took me a while to get to the stage of talking about my impairment. My parents felt a great deal of responsibility for the fact I had a disability due to a hereditary illness. I just felt that we had a period of dark feelings towards each other, but over time we were able to talk about the future, little by little." (genetics.qlife.jp, 15 Apr 2021; Athlete, 11 Sep 2019; sports-tokyo.info, 27 Mar 2017; Para Do YouTube channel, 08 Feb 2017)
Other information
FURTHER EDUCATION
He has studied sports coaching at the Graduate School of Health and Sport Science at Nippon Sport Science University in Tokyo, Japan. (sports-news.jp, 07 Sep 2018; sports-kokoro.jp, 12 Jul 2017; sanspo.com, 13 Apr 2019; paraphoto.org, 16 Mar 2021)