Japan's Akihiro Yamaguchi has set his sights on matching four-times Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima after breaking the 200 metres world record today: he broke the mark of Hungarian Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta in 2:07.01 at Nagaragawa Swimming Plaza in Gifu Prefecture.
The splits compared:
"I am looking forward to next year's world championships," the 18-year-old schoolboy world junior champion told the Kyodo news agency after his record swim at the National Sports Festival. "I want to be a successor to Kitajima-san, a swimmer I look up to. I think I can cut it in the 200 at the world level and want to challenge in the 100, too."
Yamaguchi's top 10:
Yamaguchi's effort will only be confirmed as a world record if doping control followed his swim. Confirmation of that will have to be filed to FINA with the world-record submission papers.
Kitajima, who will be 30 next Saturday, won the 100 and 200 metres breaststroke double at the Athens and Beijing Olympics but finished outside the medals in both events in London.
Yamaguchi narrowly missed out on a trip to the Olympics but had already marked himself out as a talent to watch by clocking faster times in winning last month's Japanese high school championships than Kitajima managed in London.