• Kyodo

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Daisuke Kimura made up in part for the withdrawal of national record holder Kosuke Kitajima by earning a surprise bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on Tuesday.

Kimura, who finished second to Kitajima at the national meet in June and is considered Japan’s “No. 2” in the discipline, got the sellout crowd roaring at the Yokohama pool with a stirring finish for a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 12.71 seconds.

“Well, I posted a personal best, I won a bronze medal and I’m just going to admit I’m happy. I’m aiming to be Japan’s ‘Kimura’ just like Kitajima is Japan’s ‘Kitajima,’ ” he said after making his international debut.

“If Kitajima was here, things would’ve been different. I wanted gold, but I did my best so I’m satisfied.”

In the following race, Takashi Yamamoto, who won the butterfly triple crown at 50, 100 and 200 meters at the nationals, lowered his own national mark with a bronze-winning effort in the 200 in 1:55.57.

“The PanPacs is a big meet but it’s different from the World Championships since there are no Europeans racing here. That’s probably why I could get a medal,” Yamamoto said.

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