By Takahisa Ide
TOKYO, June 14. KOTSUKE Kitajima came within half a seond of Mike Barrowman's 10 year-old world record in the 200m breaststroke today, the fourth day of competition at the Japanese National Championships in Tokyo. The meet is also serving as the Trials for the Pan-Pacs and Asian Games.
The 19 year-old ace, who earlier won the 50m breaststroke, clocked 2:10.64 to set a new Japanese and Asian record. Kitajima's time ranks him first in the world this year, knocking Australia's Jim Piper's 2;10.88, swum at the Aussie Trials in March, from the top of the list. It also makes him the third fastest man in history (fourth fastest performance), trailing only Barrowman and the USA's Ed Moses.
Kitajima was ahead of Barowman's pace for 150 meters, and swam a very fast final 50 — 33.90 — but it was not quite as fast as Barrowman's, when he set the record at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
Kitajima's splits: 29.18 – 1:02.73 – 1:36.74 – 2:10.64.
His splits by 50: 29.18, 33.55, 34.01, 33.90.
Kitajima's was not the only fast performance today. Fumiko Kawamabe, 17, set a Japanese national high school record in the women's 200m breast, as her 2:27.10 was just enough to edge veteran Junko Isoda at 2:27.24.
Kawamabe's time was a pr; her previous best was 2:27.71 last year.
Kawamabe's splits: 33.87 – 1:11.29 – 1:49.09 – 2:27.10.
Her splits by 50: 33.87, 37.42, 37.80, 38.01.
Tomoko Hagiwara won her third event, again in world-class time. the japanese veteran took the 200m freestyle in 1:59.59, a time that ranks her fifth globally this year. Earlier she won the 200 back in a national record and world-leading 2;10.04; yesterday she took the 200 IM in 2:13.65, the world's second-fatsest time this year.
Aya Terakawa, who was fourth in the 200 back, won a very close 100 meters in 1:01.93, second in the world for '02 behind the USA's Diana MacManus' 1:01.32. She split 30.14 at the 50. Two other women tied for second at 1:02.11.
The men's 100m back went to Tomomi Morita at 55.50 (27.28 split).
Takashi Yamamoto won his second fly event, the 50 meters in 24.30, fifth fastest globally. Yesterday he took the 100 meters in 52.77.