Kosuke Kitajima of Japan kept alive his bid to win a third consecutive Olympic title in the 100-meter breaststroke on Saturday.
Kitajima finished sixth in the semifinals in 59.69 seconds to advance to Sunday’s final at the Aquatics Centre. Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa qualified fastest in 58.83.
Kitajima would become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics. Michael Phelps could have beat him to it, but the American finished fourth in the 400 individual medley final after winning that title in the previous two Olympics.
Brendan Hansen, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist who was fourth in Beijing, grabbed the last spot in the eight-man final in 59.78.
His American teammate, Eric Shanteau, finished 11th in 59.96, the exact same time and placement he had in the preliminaries. The swimmer was diagnosed with testicular cancer shortly before the Beijing Olympics, where he also failed to advance out of the semis.
Dana Vollmer of the United States qualified fastest for the 100 butterfly final. Her semifinal time of 56.36 was off the Olympic-record time of 56.25 she set in the morning prelims.
Alicia Coutts of Australia was second at 56.85. Also moving on to Sunday’s final was world-record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, Claire Donahue of the United States and Ellen Gandy of Britain.