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IRVINE, California, August 21. JAPAN's Kosuke Kitajima won the men's 200 breast, and flirted with the world record while doing so at the Pan Pacific Championships.
Kitajima clocked a swift time of 2:08.36, clearing Brendan Hansen's meet record of 2:08.50 set back in 2006. That time also had been the fastest effort in a textile suit up until Kitajima's swim this evening. Kitajima also beat Daniel Gyurta's 2:08.95 to ascend to the top of the world rankings in the event this year. Kitajima became the first man from Japan to win the title at Pan Pacs since Akira Hayashi won it in 1995 with a 2:13.60. Kitajima was under world-record pace at the 50 (28.87) and within striking distance of the 100 (1:01.53) and 150 (1:34.61) but fell well off Christian Sprenger's global mark of 2:07.31 from the 2009 World Championships.
Australia's Brenton Rickard took second in 2:09.97, finishing off his fourth-ranked season best of 2:09.31. USA's Eric Shanteau snared third overall in 2:10.13, while Japan's Naoya Tomita placed fourth in 2:10.99.
Canada's Scott Dickens (2:12.61), Australia's Craig Calder (2:12.62), USA's Scott Spann (2:13.08) and Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (2:14.42) touched fifth through eighth.
Japan's Ryo Tateishi topped the B final in a time of 2:12.74, well back from his second-ranked season best of 2:09.21 from the Japanese Nationals back in April.
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