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UPDATED: 08:23, August 18, 2004
Preview: Kitajima faces Hansen, Hoogenband to defend 100m free
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Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima of Japan and world record holder Brendan Hansen of the United States will have their second face-off in the men's 200m breaststroke Wednesday in the Olympic swimming pool.

Reignin champion Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands is to have another try in his defending campaign after losing the 200m freestyle title to Australian Ian Thorpe, who also has been crowned with 400m free title here.

Kitajima edged world record holder Hansen by 17-hundredths of a second in the 100m breaststroke for the gold Sunday before Hansen's fellow American Aaron Peirsol accused of the 22-year-old Japanese of cheating with an illegal dolphin kick at the start.

But Kitajima said he always tried to have fair competition and was never cautioned by the official judges and Hansen would rather focus his attention on the upcoming 200m event than be obsessed by the dispute.

"I have made up my mind I'm not going to waste any energy on thinking about it. If I let it get to me, it will waste my energy.I'm just using it to motivate me more," he said.

Hansen, also holding world record in the 200m, qualified for the final as the second fastest in two minutes 10.81 seconds while Kitajimi was third in 2:10.86. Hungarian Daniel Gyurta was placed first overall in 2:10.75.

26-year-old Hoogenband will try to redeem his loss in the 200m free to world record holder Thorpe as he entered the 100m free final, second of all in 48.55.

But Hoogenband, setting the 100m free world mark in 47.84 in Sydney Olympics four years ago, will be met with stiff challenge from South African Roland Mark Schoeman, who is a member of the winning 4x100m free relay team in Athens.

Thorpe finished in an unimpressive eighth place in 49.21.

American Kaitlin Sandeno, qualifying the women's 200m butterfly final in a fastest time of 2:08.77, will vie for the title against Poland's Otylia Jedrzejczak, who has held the world record of 2:05.78 for two years.

After four days of competition, the United States stands on top of the medals table with five golds, five silvers and four bronzes as Australia follows at heel with four golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Source: Xinhua

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