BARCELONA, Spain – Japan’s Takashi Yamamoto celebrated his 25th birthday by storming to the silver medal in the men’s 200-meter butterfly final at the World Swimming Championships on Wednesday.
Yamamoto clocked a new Japanese record of 1 minute, 55.52 seconds as he finished just behind American Michael Phelps, who grabbed the gold in 1.54.35. Thomas Malchow, also of the United States, was third in 1:55.66.
“Unbelievable, I’m ecstatic,” Yamamoto said. “Getting a medal is the perfect birthday present.”
Meanwhile, Kosuke Kitajima, who smashed the men’s 100-meter breaststroke world record to win gold on Monday, cruised to victory in his heat in the 200 breaststroke semifinals.
Kitajima, the former 200 world record holder, also set a new national record and bested the meet time by touching the wall in 2:09.73 to finish comfortably ahead of Britain’s Ian Edmonds (2:10.69) and American Brendan Hansen (2:11.33).
“Not a bad time. It was nice to go under the 2:10 mark and this will put me in good stead for the final,” Kitajima said.
Kitajima held the 200 world record until it was broken last month by Russia’s Dmitry Komornikov.
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