Ronnie Wong Man Chiu

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Ronnie Wong Man Chiu is the chairman of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee for the 2009-2013 and 2013-2017 term and the Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association. He is responsible for advising, analyzing, appointing, investigating, studying and recommending rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, equipment and specifications regarding the preparations and execution of open water swimming events sanctioned and organized by FINA, the world's governing body of aquatics.

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FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee

The FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) is a group of experienced open water swimming experts and specialists from around the world who administers and officiates the pro and elite open water races in the world. They also organize clinics and serve as referees, judges and officials at major international competitions and write the rules and procedures that govern these competitions.

History

The history of the committee goes back to 1985.

In 1985, the FINA Bureau appointed a Long Distance Swimming Commission. Seven years later, the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee was formed in 1992. Allan Clarkson of Great Britain was nominated Chairman of the first committee.

Allan was followed by Hans A. Beijer of the Netherlands, Sid Cassidy of the USA and Ronnie Wong of Hong Kong. The Honorary Secretaries of the Committee included Dale Petranech of the USA (1992-1996), Flavio Bomio of Switzerland (1996-2000), Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia (2000-2008) and Flavio Bomio (2008 - present).

Members of TOWSC

2013-2017

The 2013-2017 FINA TOWSC members include:

Chairman: Ronnie Wong of Hong Kong
Vice Chairman: Jorge Delgado Panchana of Ecuador
Honorary Secretary: Andrea Prayer of Italy

Representatives of the African region:
Joaquim Pestana Costa of Angola
David Ngugi of Kenya

Representatives of the Americas region:
Fernando Terrilli of Argentina
Tomas Haces German of Cuba
Sid Cassidy of USA

Representatives of the Asian region:
Abdulmonem Al Alawi of Oman
Mubarak Abdulla Al Zahmi of United Arab Emirates

Representatives of the European region:
Jean Paul Narce of France
Samuel Greetham of Great Britain
Noam Zwi of Israel

Representatives of the Oceania region:
William Ford of Australia
John West of New Zealand

Events Sub-Committee:
Christiane Fanzeres of Brazil
Ayman Saad of Egypt
Jon Hestoy of Faroe Islands

FINA Bureau Liaison is Dennis Miller of Fiji

2009-2013

Its 2009-2013 members include:

1. Ronnie Wong Man Chiu, Chairman
2. Jorge Aurelio Delgado Panchana, Vice Chairman
3. Flavio Bomio, Honorary Secretary
4. Sid Cassidy, Member [replacement for Steven Munatones of USA]
5. Khwaja Aziz, Member
6. Valerijus Belovas, Member
7. Tomas Haces German, Member
8. Samuel Greetham, Member
9. Zouheir El Moufti, Member
10. Andrea Prayer, Member
11. John West, Member
12. Noam Zwi, Member
13. Washington Beltran, Events Sub-Committee
14. Hatem Seifallah Mohamed Ibrahim, Events Sub-Committee
15. Shelley Taylor-Smith, Events Sub-Committee
16. Dennis Miller, FINA Bureau Liaison

Responsibilities

These volunteers implemented a number of new safety protocols, procedures and policies while working closely with race directors and other volunteers from around the world. Collectively, they officiate the 5K, 5K Team Time Trial, 10K, 25K and Olympic 10K Marathon Swim races at the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup series, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series, the ppFINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships]], and the Olympics.

Olympic 10K Marathon Swim

As members of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee, American Sid Cassidy, Australian Chris Guesdon, and Fijian Dennis Miller literally mapped out the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim concept on a napkin in a restaurant. This revolutionary plan eventually led to the sport of open water swimming being added to the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Cassidy gives the background during his speech at the 2011 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in New York City:

Ambassadors of the Sport

Among their responsibilities, members of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee attend competitions, meet coaches and promote the sport in various ways: speeches, clinics, publications, competitions and meetings. In June 2011, Delgado explained the role of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee, and the future of the sport at the United Nations during the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame awards ceremonies:

FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup Series

The FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup series consists of races in: Santos (Brazil)
Cancún (Mexico)
Setúbal (Portugal)
Lac St-Jean (Canada)
Lac Mégantic (Canada)
Shantou (China)
Hong Kong

FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Series

The FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series consists of race in Rosario (Argentina)
Sante Fe-Coronda (Argentina)
Viedma (Argentina)
Hernandarias-Paraná (Argentina)
Sumidero Canyon (Mexico)
Capri-Napoli (Italy)
Lac St-Jean (Canada)
Lac Memphrémagog (Canada)
Šabac (Serbia)
Ohrid Lake (Macedonia)
Jabelah (Syria – cancelled in 2011)

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