Kitajima supplants American Hansen's world breaststroke mark

Updated: June 8, 2008, 8:44 AM ET
Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's Kosuke Kitajima set a world record of two minutes and 7.51 seconds in the men's 200-meter breaststroke on Sunday.

The 25-year-old eclipsed American Brendan Hansen's previous mark of 2:08.50 at an Olympic tune-up ahead of August's Beijing Games.

"I feel like crying," the double 2004 Olympic gold medalist Kitajima told reporters.

"It was a perfect swim and has given my confidence a real lift.

"Of course I'm only thinking about winning gold in Beijing, and if I don't win gold I won't come back."

Kitajima won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the Athens Olympics four years ago but has largely played second fiddle to rival Hansen since. Hansen still owns the 100-meters mark.

"It's great at this stage to break one of Hansen's records," Kitajima added. "I kept getting beaten by him. Now I can go to the Olympics aiming for the gold medal."

Kitajima, who is contracted to Japanese company Mizuno, has been wearing swimsuits made by Britain's Speedo during the Japan Open event at Tokyo's Tatsumi swimming center.