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Kitajima Keeps His Promise, Upsetting Brendan Hansen to Win the Men's 100 meter Breaststroke -- August 15, 2004 pumps hands after 100 breast win

By Phillip Whitten

ATHENS, August 15. HE promised. He promised a nation -- a nation that takes promises very seriously.

So, too, does Kosuke Kitajima. When the 22 year-old world champion makes a promise, he does everything in his power to keep it.

Tonight, he had just enough power to keep his promise to his Japanese countrymen and upset world record-holder Brendan Hansen to take the gold in the 100 breast.

His time, 1:00.08, was nowhere near Hansen's world mark of 59.30 set last month. It didn't approach his own winning time of 59.78 in Barcelona 13 months ago. At 1:00.03, he was faster in yesterday's prelims; and at 1:00.01, Hansen was faster in the semis.

But tonight, when it counted, Kosuke Kitajima's 1:00.08 was fast enough, thank you. That's because Hansen touched in 1:00.25.

It was close all the way, with Hansen turning first in 28.22, followed by
France's Hugues Duboscq at 28.25 and Kitajima at 28.26. Hansen kept his slim lead until the final few strokes, when the Japanese called upon his patented finish to beat the American to the wall.

A fading Duboscq just held off onrushing American Mark Gangloff to take bronze in 1:00.88 to 1:01.17.

Kitajima said after his race, "I don't actually remember anything about the race, I just dived in and did the best I had in me. When I finished I felt happier than I have ever been," he said.
After the race there were suggestions Kitajima had got away with an illegal dolphin kick. Hansen's only comment was very diplomatic. "If there's any problem the officials that are on pool deck will take care of that. I'm here to compete and I can only account for myself," he said.


Men 100m Breaststroke Finals


Record Split Name NOC Location Date
WR 59.30 27.93
HANSEN Brendan USA Long Beach (USA) 08 JUL 2004
OR 1:00.01 28.27
HANSEN Brendan USA Athens (GRE) 14 AUG 2004


Event No: 5

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m Time Time
Behind
1 5 KITAJIMA Kosuke JPN 0.72 (3) 28.26 1:00.08
31.82
2 4 HANSEN Brendan USA 0.70 (1) 28.22 1:00.25
32.03 0.17
3 1 DUBOSCQ Hugues FRA 0.73 (2) 28.25 1:00.88
32.63 0.80
4 6 GANGLOFF Mark USA 0.72 (8) 29.14 1:01.17
32.03 1.09
5 8 POLYAKOV Vladislav KAZ 0.80 (7) 28.87 1:01.34
32.47 1.26
6 7 GIBSON James GBR 0.77 (4) 28.35 1:01.36
33.01 1.28
7 3 MEW Darren GBR 0.79 (5) 28.59 1:01.66
33.07 1.58
8 2 LISOGOR Oleg UKR 0.80 (6) 28.66 1:02.42
33.76 2.34

Results: 2004 Olympic Games