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Kitajima to swim for at least one more season

Kyodo

Former two-time double Olympic breaststroke champion Kosuke Kitajima will not retire any time soon, saying Monday that he will continue to compete for at least another season.

“I want to enjoy swimming this year,” said the 30-year-old Kitajima, who did not win an individual medal at the London Olympics last year. “I want to keep swimming until I’ve had absolutely enough.

“From here on, I have to approach each and every season like it’s my last. I hope I can have a really fulfilling year.”

Kitajima, who did win a silver in the 4×100-meter medley relay in London, will be reunited with coach Norimasa Hirai who helped him to four titles in the 100 and 200 breast at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

In the four years leading up to last summer’s games, Kitajima was based in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California where he worked under USA Swimming coach Dave Salo.

“I always felt that I wanted to train with coach Hirai again before I called it a career,” said Kitajima, who announced his engagement to Japanese pop singer Chisa at the end of last year. “I want to enjoy each and every workout I have with him.”

Kitajima plans to enter in the 50 and 100 at the April national championships that will double as a qualifier for this summer’s world championships in Barcelona.