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Illness Forces Japan's Hagiwara to Withdraw from Asian Games -- September 10, 2002

TOKYO, Sept 10. JAPAN'S Tomoko Hagiwara has withdrawn from the Asian Games, scheduled to begin on September 29 in Busan, South Korea, due to a stress-related disorder, according to the Japan Swimming Federation.

She had planned to swim in seven events: 100 and 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 200m IM, and all three relays.

At the 2002 Japanese Nationals in June, Hagiwara, 22, won five events, becoming the first swimmer in history to accomplish the feat. Two of her victories set Japanese national records.

Hagiwara won gold in the 200 meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific championships in August, but collapsed on the pool deck after the semifinals of the 200m backstroke after posting the fastest time in the event. Subsequently, she withdrew from the final, where she was a heavy gold medal favorite.

According to physicians, Hagiwara was suffering from stress and fatigue.