Injury Knocks Kitajima Out of the 200m Breaststroke

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.

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