• Kyodo


Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima won his sixth straight 100-meter breaststroke title Sunday while Takeshi Matsuda claimed victory in four events for the second straight year at the national swimming championships.

Kitajima clocked 1 minute, 0.89 seconds at Yokohama International Swimming Pool, well behind his national record of 59.78, to beat Genki Imamura by 0.66 for his second title in three races following his victory in the 50 meters on Saturday.

Imamura, who upset Kitajima in the 200 on Friday, finished runnerup and Makoto Yamashita took third in 1:01.77.

“I got a disappointing result during this meet but I’ll start building myself up from scratch and show you that I can perform well among the world’s best swimmers,” Kitajima said.

Matsuda won the men’s 800 freestyle in 7:58.74 to complete a sweep of the four events he swam, which also included the 400 and 1,500 freestyle as well as the 200 butterfly.

In Sunday’s other finals, Takashi Nakano prevailed in the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:58.79 for his first national crown in two years, while Ryo Takayasu emerged victorious in the 100 butterfly in 52.67 to add to his title in the 50 meters.

Hidemasa Sano took a men’s individual medley double as he touched the wall in the 200 in 2:00.68, two days after his triumph in the 400.

Athens Olympic bronze medalist Reiko Nakamura won her second straight victory in the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:10.22. The women’s 1,500-meter crown went to Sachiko Yamada, who timed 16:20.16.

Twenty swimmers met the Japan Swimming qualifying standards for the world championships to be held in Montreal in July.

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