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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kosuke Kitajima Is Lucky 13 In Waikiki

The greatest swimming star in Japan's long history of aquatic successes - 5-time Olympic medalist and world record holder Kosuke Kitajima - tried his hand at open water swimming this week.

He placed a very decent 13th place in the Waikiki Roughwater Swim.

To put his popularity in perspective in his native Japan, he can only really be compared to a handful of athletes around the world: Tiger Woods in the USA, Sebastian Coe in Great Britain, Ian Thorpe in Australia, Oussama Mellouli in Tunisia, Michael Jordan in many countries. The likenesses of Kitajima were plastered all over McDonald's commercials, on Coca-Cola cans, vending machines, and convenience stores throughout Japan for years between his successes in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games when he famously won the 100m and 200m breaststrokes.

But he did 2.4 miles of rough water freestyle in Hawaii and pretty decently at that. The top 25 finishers include:

1. Rhys Mainstone, 48:10
2. George O'Brien, 48:22
3. Ridge Grimsey, 50:47
4. Malcolm Allen, 50:54
5. Kacy Johnson, 51:10
6. Alex Kostich, 51:12
7. Paul Lemmon, 51:17
8. Victor Goicoechea Casanueva, 51:50
9. Miranda Bell, 53:05 (first woman)
10. Steve Allnutt, 53:09
11. Trent Grimsey, 53:20
12. Luane Rowe, 53:28 (second woman)
13. Kosuke Kitajima, 53:31
14. Sigi Hill, 53:37
15. John De Mestre, 54:03
16. Samuel Bryant, 56:06
17. Grant Levy, 56:07
18. Paulo De Paula, 56:12
19. Jessica Collins, 56:39 (third woman)
20. John Dorr, 56:39
21. Ryan Makuta, 56:40
22. Eduardo Vaz Guimaraes, 56:46
23. Christian Nishimura, 56:47
24. Darryl Johnson, 56:54
25. Duane Cannell, 57:09

What is interesting to see is how many good open water swimmers are being developed and nurtured at the Trojan Swim Club with Oussama Mellouli and Haley Andersen being the two most accomplished open water swimmers coming out of that program. But also Olympic gold medalists like Rebecca Soni and now Kosuke Kitajima are trying their hand in salt water as well as fresh nowadays.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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