By Stephen J. Thomas
YOKOHAMA, August 26. JAPAN'S hero of Day To, Kosuke Kitajima, the winner of the 100-meter breast was a non-starter for the 200-meter heats here this morning after a chronic injury to his right elbow forced him to withdraw.
Kitajima set a championship record 1:00.34 in the semifinals, going on to beat the USA's Brendan Hansen and Australian Jim Piper in the final.
At the Japanese Nationals this year, Kitajima went a 2:10.64, making him the world leader for 2002 and the third fastest swimmer all-time behind Americans Mike Barrowman and Ed Moses, and just ahead of Hansen and Piper.
Also missing from the championship is Moses, second all-time performer over both distances, who gave this meet a pass to return to his studies at the university of Virginia.
Hansen said after his swim this morning that he turned to Piper behind the blocks and said, "It's just you and me now, Jimmy." Both swimmers were happy with their form and looked forward, all going to plan, to a fast final tomorrow night.
Get up close and personal with many of the top women on the U.S. team now competing at the Pan Pacific Championships. The book, "By a Fraction of a Second," chronicles the stories of current Pan Pac team members; Megan Quann, Lindsay Benko, Diana Munz and others. Read how the latest world record setter on the Pan Pac team had her 2000 Olympic dreams shattered.
After reading the accounts in this fast moving, insiders book, you will appreciate even more the continuing excellence displayed by these athletes. Learn what goes on behind the scenes at international meets, as well as how these swimmers recover from disappointment and injury, and cope with allegations of undetected illegal drug use amongst their competitors.
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