Barcelona: Japan's Kosuke Kitajima claimed his second gold medal and set a second world record at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, winning the 200-metres breaststroke. But the day ultimately belonged to Alexander Popov, who at 31 became the oldest short-course world champion. Kitajima smashed the 200-metres breaststroke world record. He won in a time of 2 minutes 09.42 seconds, over a second and a half ahead of Britain's Ian Edmond and Brendan Hansen of the US. The blue riband race, the men's 100 metres freestyle was expected to be a showdown between Australia's Ian Thorpe and the Dutch Olympic champion, Pieter van den Hoogenband. But it was Russia's Alexander Popov, twice a world champion and Olympic gold medallist at this distance who stole the show, leading from the front to claim his third world crown with a time of 48.42 seconds - his fastest-ever. Van den Hoogenband, beaten by Thorpe in Tuesday's 200m freestyle final, had to settle for a second silver, while Thorpe came through for a bronze to add to the three golds he had won in the first four days of the championships. Even though he was not competing in a final, America's Michael Phelps could not stay out of the limelight. The teenager joined Kitajima in setting his second world record in Barcelona with 1 minute 57.52 in the semi-finals of the 200-metre individual medley.
Topics : Swimming