Friday, July 22, 2011

'Frog king' Kitajima leaps injury hurdle

Japan's Kosuke Kitajima is determined to overcome an injury-plagued build-up to the world championships as he steps up his quest for a third straight golden double at next year's Olympics.

For the Japanese breaststroke superstar, the Shanghai worlds will not just be a vital pre-Olympic test but also a chance to restore his reputation in China, tarnished by a poor showing in November's Asian Games.

The red-hot favourite in Guangzhou, the 28-year-old finished a disappointing fourth in both the 50m and 100m before pulling out of the 200m citing nagging pain in his shoulder and joints.

It was in sharp contrast to his dominant showing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was labelled "Frog King" after retaining the 100m and 200m titles he won four years earlier in Athens.

"I feel I won't be satisfied just by winning," said Kitajima, who saw his world marks shattered when he sat out the 2009 world championships in Rome. "Records or medals. Both will be important after all."

Los Angeles-based Kitajima struggled against rising domestic rivals in April in his battle to qualify for both the 100m and 200m in Shanghai.

He won the 100m at the national trials and in the 200m he finished second to Asian Games champion Naoya Tomita, although it was a painful ordeal as he tore his left adductor muscle early in the race.

"The injury may have something to do with my age but I want to believe I am stronger than ever when it comes to my feeling and my heart," said the straight-talking son of a Tokyo butcher.

"Various kinds of experience make me stronger," he said, adding he has fully recovered and ready to add to his three gold, three silver and four bronze world championships medals since 2001.

Kitajima attributed his positive thinking to his laid-back training regime under American coach David Salo at the University of Southern California since June 2009.

Still remembered for his screams and exclamation "cho-kimochi-ii (I feel super good)" that accompanied his first Olympic double in Athens, the swimmer said he had been freed from pressure.

"We ride balance balls in the water. Sometimes we go to the beach together," Kitajima recently told Japanese media in Los Angeles. "It was a fresh surprise to find there is such a fun kind of swimming."

He attended the 2009 worlds as a TV commentator during his 15-month post-Olympics layoff and could only look on as Australia's Brenton Rickard broke his 100m record and Christian Sprenger lowered his mark in the 200m.

Kitajima said he was raring to beat the Australians and break the world marks they set in the era of high-tech swimming suits.

"I want to hear people say, 'What were those high-speed swimsuits after all?' Then, I'll say, 'Give me a break. Now you know the power of human beings,'" he told the Nikkan Sports daily.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Nintendo Japan constructing new $184 Million office building

News publication Nikkan has reported that Nintendo Japan will be investing 16 Billion Yen (roughly $184.4 Million AUD) into a new research and development facility located in Kyoto with their main office. Expected to be a massive 40,582 square meters in size, the new office is being built on a golf course which Nintendo has now bought out.

There will be six floors along with a basement level making the building 41 metres in height. There will be a meeting room located on the first floor with a cafeteria at the top so staff can take in the beautiful view on their lunch breaks.

Currently Nintendo has their research and development team scattered around Kyoto in various offices and buildings, this new office will allow the entire team to work under the one roof and thus improve the overall efficiency, productivity and communication. The new building will house up to 1,500 employees with construction to begin in January next year, Nintendo hopes to have the structure up and running by the end of 2013.