Kitajima fails to make it to Rio

Kitajima could only finish fifth in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Japanese Olympics Trials in Tokyo on Friday after also failing to qualify in the 100m this week.

KosukeKitajimcropped

Legendary Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima.

Legendary Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima has ended his illustrious career after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.

Kitajima could only finish fifth in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Japanese Olympics Trials in Tokyo on Friday after also failing to qualify in the 100m this week.

The 33-year-old completed breaststroke doubles at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, but will not add to his impressive medal haul in Brazil.

And Kitajima - a former 100m and 200m breaststroke world-record holder - has opted to call time on his career.

"I knew my career would end in Rio or here in Tokyo this week." said Kitajima 

"In my mind it's over," added Kitajima. "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."

Kitajima won a 4x100m medley relay silver in London four years ago, to add to the two relay bronze medals he won in Athens and Beijing.

He can also boast three long course world titles among his many successes over the years.

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