Kitajima Goes For History: London 2012

Breastroker Kosuke Kitajima


With the hype of the Olympics at fever pitch, much of the focus is on Michael Phelps and whether he can repeat what he did 4 years ago in Beijing. Although he has pulled out of the 200m freestyle, the world is looking to see if he is back to his best. The showdown between he and rival, Ryan Lochte on Saturday should be something to see. But what many are overlooking is that there is a guy from Japan that is also trying to achieve something very special.

That’s right, Kosuke Kitajima is attempting to win a triple double in his fourth Olympic Games. He has won the 100m and 200m breaststroke  at the past 2 Games. Way back in Sydney as a 17 year old, Kitajima finished 4th in the 100m showing glimpses of what was to come. It only took a couple of short years before he was the World’s best in the 100m and 200m. But by the time Athens came around in 2004 he was no longer the favorite as the USA’s Brendan Hansen had become the World Record Holder only a month earlier.

Kitajima showed that he had the makings of a true champion by winning the 100m at the games and he could not contain his excitement. It was one of the more memorable moments of the games and was great to see an athlete so happy by what he had achieved. He went on to win the 200m breaststroke a couple of days later.

By the time 2008 came around the talk was all about Michael Phelps and you can be forgiven for not noticing the Kitajima again won his 2 pet events as a 25 year old. What Phelps achieved was super human and if he does something similar again he will be the greatest Olympian and it will take some time to comprehend exactly what he has done. But we will not forget about the Japanese breaststroke champion who they call “Frog King” as he embarks on his own astonishing journey. Only time will tell if he can pull it off in his fourth Games, but we are all watching to see if he can.

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