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Kitajima easily books Athens berth

World record holder Kosuke Kitajima easily won a second Olympic berth when he won his fourth straight title in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the swimming national championships on Saturday.

Kitajima, who owns the world record of 2 minutes, 9.42 seconds in his specialty distance, led from start to finish in the final and touched the wall at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center in 2:10.70. Kitajima has already earned his ticket to Athens in the 100 breaststroke and will be joined by Genki Imamura, who followed second in 2:12.78, in the 200 breaststroke at the Summer Games in August. In women’s action, Yuko Nakanishi earned an Olympic berth in the 200 butterfly when she cruised to victory in a national record time of 2:07.99. Yukiko Osada, who finished second in 2:09.97, also passed the Olympic qualifying standard set by the Japan Swimming Federation.