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Double Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima came within a whisker of the 50-meter breaststroke national record in his first race of the year on Saturday.

Kitajima clocked 27.30 seconds in a time trial held in the 25-meter pool at Tatsumi International Swimming Center, 0.03 shy of his own national record, as he warmed up for the Feb. 26-27 national short-course championships.

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