updated 8/10/2008 10:42:11 PM ET 2008-08-11T02:42:11

Kosuke Kitajima of Japan wins gold medal in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in a world record. He defended his Olympic title with a world-record performance of 58.91, the first swimmer to go under 59 seconds in the event.

Kosuke Kitajima of Japan has defended his 100-meter breaststroke title at the Beijing Olympics, smashing the world record by 0.22 seconds.

Kitajima rallied from third after 50 meters to win in 58.91 seconds Monday, bettering the old mark of 59.13 set by American Brendan Hansen two years ago.

Alexander Dale Oen of Norway took the silver in 59.20. Hugues Dugoscq of France earned the bronze in 59.37. Hansen was second halfway through the race, but faded to fourth. Six of the eight finalists swam under 1 minute.

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