Bye, Says King Frog Kosuke Kitajima, Four Games, Four Golds, Pantheon-Bound

Kosuke Kitajima - his last press conference as an Olympic medallist, London 2012 - by Craig Lord

A tribute to Kosuke Kitajima: Guards change, time ticks and passes. Time for Kosuke Kitajima, 34 this year, to move on after he missed the cut – at 59 and 2:09 on breaststroke – to move on. In a tearful farewell the most decorated breaststroke ace of all time says: “In my mind it’s over. It was a long, hard road to come back and try again to get to an Olympics but I have to accept the result. I’ve got no regrets.”

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Lennart van Haaften

One of the best swimmers of all time. Sad that he narrowly missed his 5th Olympics. Only one male and one female swimmer has won more individual Olympic gold medals than he did.

Craig Lord

Quite, Lennart: Phelps, Otto (and state plan 14:25, sadly) – and only Phelps on one stroke. (Egerszegi, of course, see other comment)… and don’t forget Roland Matthes – 1968 100, 200 and again in 1972…


Kitajima swam 59secs in 100 breast for the first time in 2003 and 13 years later he swam another 59secs few days ago.
He swam 2:09 for the first time in 2002 and 14 years later still able to do it again today.

That IS talent.



Not Otto, but Egerszegi. 5 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze… ALL individual.

If only she’d also swum that 100 back and dropped that wretched 400 IM in Atlanta ….

Craig Lord

Sorry, yes, solo… of course… mind always leaps to Otto for the 6 gold (unassailable even yet) – 4 gold like Kosuke K (Mathes, Popov but not many more on one stroke – Miss Ledecky could match it this August…). Phelps in an orbit beyond, of course: 11 solo gold, 1 of each other colour solo and 5 gold solo fly, 5 gold solo medley… more to come (unassailable forever, I suspect … but you never know 🙂

(p.s other comment dealt with, no problem)


He swam 59.62 in the 100m sf, surely they should take him for the medley relay?


Judging by the reactions of the swimmers after men 100 breast, it seems they have to register the qualifying time in the finals.
And they already have Yasuhiro Koseki for the medley relay.


Glad to be finally rid of this cheater (alleged, officials did not think he broke prevailing rules – and just to make sure they changed the rule … none of which is the fault of any swimmer – ED). He should have had his Athens medals stripped.

Craig Lord

easyspeed, that’s rather silly… you may feel he did an illegal kick way back when, but a quadruple Olympic champion he is – and that does indeed make him a great swimmer. As for your other comment, I removed it to save your blushes – don’t go there; there is, of course no comparison whatsoever to be made with that character. Thanks


the allegation was he did an illegal kick during the final 100 breast in Athens. But few days later, he won 200 breast very clean, without anything that his detractors can use against him.
If he were a cheat, then so was Peirsol who was DQed for illegal turn, and then reinstated.

Craig Lord

aswimfan, that is precisely why I replied to easy speed as I did: the history of the sport is stacked with incidents that demand you call all of them cheats if you call Kitajima one. I think that ruinous and unfair. In general I’m not in favour of anyone finding the loophole in the law, so to speak, that gives them a momentary gain on the rest but, like VD Burgh’s kick out of the dive in London (and he was not alone in doing that in that race), it really is for those who run the sport to get the rules right and mind the gap that ought not to be there (or decide officially that it can be there… the point, fairness and the same competition environment for all at any given time)


Are you kidding me? Will the real Craig Lord please stand up? I am saddened to hear this coming from you as I greatly admire the position your site takes on cheaters; that is, an asterisks is placed after the athlete’s name. My comparison to cheating cyclists in the 2000s remains a valid one. When they were confronted all basically said, “Hey, everyone does it.” And, “if the rules are lax, we will take advantage.”

Cheating is cheating, be it from taking performance enhancing drugs or breaking the rules in other ways. Period.

Katijima and Van der Burg are cheats.

It is your site and you can be as Orwellian as you wish with the editing, but the facts are the facts and no amount of revisionist history will change them.

I hope you re-consider your position. Other people in the swimming community feel the same way as I do. Thank you.


I hope this link doesn’t get removed. I am serious and passionate re: what I wrote above.

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