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Kitajima secures spot at worlds

Kyodo

Double Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima outpaced Ryo Tateishi to win the men’s 100-meter breaststroke Saturday at a qualifying meet for this summer’s world championships in Shanghai.

Kitajima, coming off record-breaking performances at the short-course national championships in February, touched the wall in 59.44 seconds to top the qualifying standard set by the Japan Swimming Federation and secure a berth to the July 16-31 worlds.

Tateishi clocked 1 minute, 0.31 seconds for second place while Naoya Tomita came home in third in 1:00.93.

Ryosuke Irie beat out 2009 world champion Junya Koga to take the 100 meters backstroke in 53.10, while Yosuke Miyamoto became the first Japanese swimmer to break the 15-minute mark in winning the men’s 1,500 meters freestyle in 14:57.56 seconds at Hamamatsu Swimming Center.

Kitajima was among 10 swimmers, including 200 men’s butterfly winner Takeshi Matsuda, to qualify for individual events in Shanghai.

Natsumi Hoshi also booked her ticket after winning the women’s 200 butterfly in a national record time of 2:06.05.