Ed Odeven Reporting

800px-Kosuke_Kitajima_(7471083962) Swimmer Kosuke Kitajima is seen in a 2012 file photo. FLICKR / via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Reporter’s viewpoint: Kosuke Kitajima was destined for Olympic greatness. That much was certain, even in 2003.

Swimming Technique, summer 2003 article

By Ed Odeven

Standing Tall
Although short in stature, Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima — blessed with extraordinary technique — is a giant among breaststrokers.

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Size doesn’t always matter. But let’s face it: elite male swimmers, such as Australian Ian Thorpe and American Michael Phelps, are usually big, strong fellows.

Kosuke Kitajima is an exception to the rule. The skinny, 5-foot-8 3/4-inch Japanese native is a world-class swimmer who relies more on skill than size.

The 20-year-old from Tokyo had a breakthrough year in 2002, highlighted by a gold medal finish in the 200 meter breaststroke at the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea in October.

In that race, Kitajima shattered the oldest record in…

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