|By John Lohn
OMAHA, Nebraska, June 30. AT the start of the 100 breaststroke final, many expected Brendan Hansen to make a run at his world record. He didn't get it, but that fact wasn't much of a concern. Hansen did what he needed to grab his second Olympic invitation, the primary focus of any athlete at the Trials.
Taking the lead from the start, Hansen split 28.02 at the 50-meter mark and finished in 59.93 for the 15th sub-minute swim of his career. No other American has broken a minute in the 100 breast, which makes Hansen's achievements all the more impressive. Mark Gangloff grabbed the second spot, going 1:00.42.
"I'm a little disappointed with the time, but you can't be mad about making your second Olympic Team," said Hansen, who won three medals at the Athens Games in 2004. "If I have to pick a place to break a world record, it would be at the Olympics. I've done it at Trials before. The place to do it is (in Beijing)."
Hansen was coming off a clocking of 59.24 in the semifinals and there was the thought that he'd challenge the 59-second barrier in the final. That push will have to wait until August. Hansen will take tomorrow off before returning to the pool for the 200 breaststroke. There, Hansen hopes to regain his world record from Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, who went 2:07.51 a little more than three weeks ago.
Scott Spann (1:00.59) and Eric Shanteau (1:00.72), Hansen's teammates at Longhorn Aquatics, were third and fourth and Kevin Swander took fifth in 1:00.81. The field was rounded out by Chris Ash (1:01.12), Scott Usher (1:01.42) and John Christe (1:01.84).
Video Footage Removed Due to NBC Restrictions
Go to Swimming World's 2008 Olympics Landing Page for the most comprehensive coverage of the meet on the Internet.
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Photo By: Peter H. Bick