Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 14, 2008
Between the two Olympic Games of 2004 and 2008 breaststroke swimming had turned into a personal duel between the man who had won both Olympic titles in Athens, [Kosuke Kitajima] of Japan, and Americaâs [Brendan Hansen] who had beaten Kitajima in all their recent major championship clashes. Hansen was not in the same form as previous years and was not included in the US team for this event leaving [Brenton Rickard] of Australia as the most likely threat to the Japanese champion although in truth there was no one capable of challenging Kitajima. The Japanese swimmer cruised with little effort in his heat but then beat the Olympic record in both the semi-final and final to retain his title and seal his place amongst the greats of breaststroke swimming. No man had ever before retained both Olympic breaststroke titles.