Kitajima Takes the Breaststroke Double, Wins the 200 in an Olympic Record 2:09.44

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece. August 18. JAPAN’S Kosuke Kitajma silenced his critics, in this race at least, when he had an all-the-way win in the 200 meters after taking the 100-meters two days ago under controversial circumstances surrounding his underwaater pullouts, where he was alleged to have used an illegal dolphin kick.

The judges were out in force tonight ,much to the dismay of Aussie record-holder Jim Piper, who was DQ’ed for an illegal dolphin kick (sound familiar?).

Back to the race: The first 150 meters was a battle between pre-meet favorite, American world record-holder Brendan Hansen, and Kitajima, with the Japanese able to forge a lead of just 27-hundredths of a second at the halfway mark.

Hansen gained on his adversary on the third leg, but Kitajima gave up only inches, and grudgingly at that. At the 150 meter turn, the margin had shrunk to just 12-hundredths of a second.

But Hansen had spent himself on the third 50. Kitajima put in a 33.48 final lap to set an Olympic record of 2:09.44. Struggling, Hansen could only watch in frustration as 15 year-old Dani Gyurta of Hungary flew by him, charging from sixth place at the 100 to second.

At the wall it was Gyurta in 2:10.80 to Hansen's 2:10.87, as Hansen swam the slowest final 50 meters in the field.

Gyurta, off to an incredible start in his international career, said he was "thrilled" to win silver. "Winning a medal here has always been my goal," he told Swiminfo. We'll be hearing more from this young man in the future.

Kitajima said of his race, "I was able to keep calm and swim relaxed, it was a great honour to be the first Japanese to win to gold medals in the Olympics."

A disappointed Hansen explained after the race that he had been at his peak at Long Beach last month and found it very hard to get up again five weeks later. He also admitted that the pressure got to him a little. “I went into Long Beach a very good swimmer and came out a dual world record-holder with high expectations on me to win two gold medals", he said. "I'm disappointed I have the world records but not the gold medals."

Men 200m Breaststroke Finals

Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 2:09.04 29.22 1:01.88 1:35.38 HANSEN Brendan USA Long Beach (USA) 11 JUL 2004
OR 2:10.16 30.43 1:03.91 1:37.12 BARROWMAN Mike USA Barcelona (ESP) 29 JUL 1992

Event No: 18

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m 100m 150m Time Time
Behind
1 3 KITAJIMA Kosuke JPN 0.72 (1) 29.10 (1) 1:02.12
33.02 (1) 1:35.96
33.84 2:09.44
33.48 OR
2 4 GYURTA Daniel HUN 0.84 (7) 30.40 (6) 1:04.06
33.66 (3) 1:36.88
32.82 2:10.80
33.92 1.36
3 5 HANSEN Brendan USA 0.72 (2) 29.40 (2) 1:02.39
32.99 (2) 1:36.08
33.69 2:10.87
34.79 1.43
4 6 BOSSINI Paolo ITA 0.87 (4) 30.07 (3) 1:03.31
33.24 (4) 1:37.08
33.77 2:11.20
34.12 1.76
5 1 POLYAKOV Vladislav KAZ 0.80 (3) 29.88 (5) 1:03.78
33.90 (5) 1:37.10
33.32 2:11.76
34.66 2.32
6 7 BROWN Mike CAN 0.77 (6) 30.22 (4) 1:03.43
33.21 (6) 1:37.56
34.13 2:11.94
34.38 2.50
7 2 USHER Scott USA 0.75 (5) 30.13 (7) 1:04.08
33.95 (7) 1:37.60
33.52 2:11.95
34.35 2.51
8 PIPER Jim AUS 0.82

DSQ

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Author: Archive Team

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