Double Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima has another addition for his impressive trophy cabinet after accepting the award for 2004 Japanese Sportsman of the Year.
Kitajima, who won the gold medal in both the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke in Athens, was voted the top Japanese athlete for 2004 by members of the Foreign Sportswriters Association of Japan.
“I’m very honored to be presented with this award,” said Kitajima on Tuesday night, after receiving the trophy from Japan Times sports editor Jack Gallagher, who is president of the FSAJ. “It’s nice to have the support of so many people.”
Eligibility was limited to Japanese athletes based in Japan. Sumo wrestler Asashoryu of Mongolian took top honors in the category for non-Japanese athletes.
Kitajima became the first Japanese male to bring home an Olympic swimming gold medal in 16 years. The 22-year-old swimmer said his life has changed completely since Athens.