Kosuke Kitajima joins the most famous names in Japanese swimming: Tsuruta, Furukawa, Furuhashi, Kiyokawa and Kitamura as he will be inducted into ISHOF as an Honor Swimmer, September 30 ~

 Kosuke Kitajima becomes the twentieth Honor Swimmer from Japan to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  Japan is a small country but dominated the world of swimming in the 1920’s and 1930’s with stars like Yoshiyuki Tsuruta, Masaru  Furukawa, Hironoshin Furuhashi, Masaji Kiyokawa and Kuoso Kitamura. 

There was a lapse after the war and it took many years for them to regain the power they once had. In 1972 Nobutaka Taguchi won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke and Mayumi Aoki won gold in the 100-meter butterfly. Taguchi also won bronze in the 200 breaststroke, but it was very sporatic before and after that point.

But after Daichi Suzuki won the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke, in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, it once again gave the Japanese hope and slowly things started to change. After Suzuki’s victory, the world start seeing more Japanese in the Olympic Games.  Suzuki is now the President of the Japanese Swimming Federation, and Japanese names are now frequently in the finals of those Games.  Names like Kusoke Kitajima.  Kitajima specialized in the breaststroke.  In his first Olympic Games in 2004, he captured gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and then took bronze, swimming the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 100 medley relay representing his homeland.  During the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he did an exact repeat of the 2004 Games, winning the gold medal in the 100 and 200m breaststroke, while also breaking the world record in the 100, in a time of 58.91.  By winning back-to-back medals in 2004 and 2008, Kitajima became the first and only swimmer ever to sweep the breaststroke at consecutive Olympic Games.  He and his team also won the bronze again in 2008 in the medley relay, and again in 2012, Kitajima and the relay team bettered it in London by winning silver.  In the end, Kitajima won four gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympic competition.   

 Kitajima’s most significant rival was American and ISHOF Honoree, Brendan Hansen.  The two men dueled it out at   all the major events, such as the FINA World Championships and the Olympic Games. Kitajima set world records in both the 100 and 200m breaststroke, finishing his career by breaking seven world records.  In all, Kitajima  has competed in six (long course) World Championships. At the 2013 World Championships, he won bronze in the medley relay, extending his national record to 12,  three gold, four silver and five bronze.  He is a 16-time medalist at the FINA World Cup events, winning four gold, nine silver and three bronze.

Come join Kitajima-san and this year’s spectacular class of 2023 in Ft. Lauderdale.  If you cannot join us, consider making a donation. To make a donation, click here: https://www.ishof.org/donate/

Purchase your tickets here to the ISHOF Honoree Induction Ceremony (Saturday, September 30, 2023) via Ticketmaster:


Class of 2023 Honorees

Bob Bowman (USA) / Honor Coach

Chris Carver (USA) / Honor Coach

Cesar Cielo (BRA) / Honor Swimmer

Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) / Honor Swimmer

Missy Franklin (USA / Honor Swimmer

Natalia  Ischenko (RUS) / Honor Synchronized Swimmer

Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) / Honor Swimmer

Heather Petri (USA) / Honor Water Polo Player

Michael Phelps (USA) / Honor Swimmer

Wu Minxia (CHN / Honor Diver

Sam Ramsamy (RSA) / Honor Contributor

Stephane Lecat (FRA) / Honor Open Water Swimmer

Trischa Zorn (USA) / Honor Paralympic Swimmer

Friday, September 29, 2023

2023 ISHOF Aquatic Awards – Presented by AquaCal
(Formerly the Paragon Awards)

2023 ISHOF Specialty Awards

Purchase Friday Night Tickets Here

Friday, September 29th Schedule:

5:00 –   Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
Oceanview Veranda 
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach, 3030 Holiday Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 954.525.4000

6:00 –   Awards Ceremony 
Caribbean Ballroom
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach

8:30 – Dinner on own

ISHOF Aquatic Awards Presented by AquaCal

Swimming: Mike Unger (USA)
Diving: Ellie Smart (USA)
Water Polo: Mark Koganov (AZB)
Synchro: Maria Jose Brunel (ESP)
Aquatic Safety: Cullen Jones (USA)
Recreational Swimming: Sofia Forte (USA)

ISHOF Specialty Awards 

John K. Williams Jr. Award: Gail M. Dummer (USA)
Judge Martin Award:  Norm Taplin (USA)
ISHOF Service Award: Laura Voet (USA)
Buck Dawson Author’s Award: Elaine K. Howley (USA)
Buck Dawson Author’s Award:  Tom Gompf (USA)
Al Schoenfield Media Award:  John Lohn  
Virginia Hunt Newman Award: Amanda Gawthrope

Sammy Lee Award: TBA

Duraflex Award: TBA

 **All ticket sales are final unless event is canceled**


Host Hotel:  Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, (3030, Harbor Drive, Fort Lauderdale, 33316, 954. 525.4000) site of the Friday night awards ceremony is our host hotel.  The hotel has given us a special rate of $229 per room night.   Please make your reservations through the link below prior to August 29. 

(Be sure to say you do not want the resort fee or you will be charged $259)

To make reservations click here:  https://book.passkey.com/e/50527236 

Upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full-service spa and oceanside bar. Location of the Friday evening awards ceremony.

¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

($30 Resort fee – Guests can opt out if not interested in resort amenities)

Additional Hotel Option: 

Courtyard Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach, 440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

(954) 524-8733.

Click Here:  Book your group rate for Honoree Ceremony 

Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 – $189 per night

Honoree Ceremony September 29-30, 2023: Last Day to Book: Friday, August 31, 2023

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