By Stephen J Thomas
25 July, BRISBANE. AUSTRALIAN head coach, Don Talbot banned the entire Australian Olympic team from wearing any form of bodysuit during the Grand Prix meet held in Brisbane this weekend and will extend this to the final pre-Olympic meet to be held in Melbourne on August 26-27.
It's an interesting ploy by the wily veteran coach aimed to keep the "opposition" guessing and to save
the new hi-tech suits for the main event in September. It has been confirmed that both the English and South African teams will also compete
at the Melbourne meet and, one would assume, with the full array of attire.
Grant Hackett, who will swim the individual 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle at the Games, was one competitor who was comfortable with his traditional
swimming briefs. Hackett told Swimming World that he would be unlikely to wear a full-length bodysuit, particularly in the 1500. He said the bodysuit
hurts around the shoulders over the longer distance and he is happy to justwear the pants. Hackett cruised to win 1500 after very solid second placings in the 200 and 400 free earlier in the meet behind world
record-holder Ian Thorpe.
Hackett was disappointed that his older rival, Kieren Perkins, had missed the meet due to a rib injury. "Its boring out there on your own, it would
have been good to have him in the race," he said. His time of 15:40.33 was almost a full minute outside his best but thirty seconds ahead of the next place-getter, rookie Dylan Rackley. Hackett said it was very unlikely he would swim his favored event, the 1500, at the Melbourne Grand Prix just three weeks out from the Olympics.