Kosuke Kitajima and four other Japanese medalists at the just-concluded world swimming championships in Shanghai returned home on Monday pledging to step up their efforts toward next year’s London Olympics.
“Overall, it was a disappointing world championships for me, but once again I was able to feel the excitement of competing with the world’s top swimmers,” Kitajima told a press conference upon the national team’s arrival at Haneda airport.
The two-time double Olympic breaststroke champion took the silver medal in his favorite 200-meter event and finished fourth in the 100 meters and the 4×100 medley relay.
“I wasn’t strong enough, and I couldn’t put myself in top form for the championships. But I gave it all I had,” Kitajima said. “Those who raced against me at the worlds will likely be my rivals next year. I know it’s going to be a tough challenge. I’ll go back to watch a video of my races and try to find out what I need to work on for the Olympics.”