Team USA Swimming: Can Brendan Hansen Dethrone Kosuke Kitajima?

May 14, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Team USA men's swimmer Brendan Hansen during a portrait session at the 2012 Team USA Media Summit at the Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Delaware county native Brendan Hansen, 30, will complete his comeback when he competes in the 100 meter breaststroke, which gets underway this Saturday in 2012 London Olympic games.

Delaware county native Brendan Hansen, 30, will complete his comeback when he competes in the 100 meter breaststroke, which gets underway this Saturday in 2012 London Olympic games.

Hansen, who is already a four-time medalist, will re-ignite one of the better rivalries in the pool this summer as he looks to unseat Japan's Kosuke Kitajima as the world's greatest breaststroker. Kitajima is ranked #1 in the world and is looking for his third straight gold in the 100 meter race.

Hanson finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the last two Olympics. After 2008, he decided to retire from the sport. However the motivation to beat Kitajima never went away and reportedly it took just one comment from legendary US swimmer Rowdy Gaines to lure Hansen back to the pool. Gaines proclaimed Kitajima "the greatest breaststroker in history" and Hansen had all the motivation he needed. Now fully out of retirement, Hansen has worked his way up to #4 in the world.

The event was shaping up to be a pretty epic three-man battle between Kitajima, Hansen and Norway's Alexander Dale-Oen, but the latter tragically passed away this spring after suffering cardiac arrest during training.

Heats begin at 6:52a our time on Saturday, with the semifinals following at 3:30p the same day. The finals will be help on Saturday at 3:08p.

For more on the 2012 London Summer Olympics and to follow local athletes, be sure to follow our Olympics stream at SBNation Philly

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