By Stephen J Thomas and Ian Hanson
SYDNEY, July 18. GRANT Hackett clocked 3:34.58 to trim 43-hundredths of a second off his own world record for the short course 400 meter freestyle, at the Sydney Aquatic Centre tonight.
The Grand Prix meet was designed as a farewell meet for the Australian team, which leaves for a camp in Germany tomorrow afternoon where they will complete final preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
Hackett set his previous world mark of 3:35.01 at the World Short Course Championships in Hong Kong in April 1999 and also holds the 800 and 1500 in short course.
Hackett was naturally pleased with his form. "I felt fast in the water this morning but I was not expecting this. You’re not supposed to break world records at these meets, I’m not fully tapered right now and am just coming into my rest stage," said an excited Hackett.
When asked about his continuing rivalry with the 400 free long course world record-holder, Ian Thorpe, he said it was going to take around 3:40 (i.e., a world record) to win the race in Manchester. "For once it would be nice to break a world record and win the event," he said.
100 200 300 400
Old: 52.40 1:47.11 2:42.08 3:35.01
New: 51.35 1:45.40 2:40.25 3:34.58
Stephen Penfold clocked 3:44.32 to finish second, from Craig Stevens in 3:46.64. Denis Cotterell coaches the three swimmers at the Miami Club in Queensland.
Other Outstanding Swims
Hackett's wasn't the only outstanding swim of the evening. In the women's 400 meter freestyle it was Amanda Pascoe 4:08.43, Kirsten Thomson (4:13.27) and Meagan Walker (4:16.37).
Matt Welsh won the 200 meter backstroke in 1:54.01, with his Commonwealth Games teammates, Leigh McBean (1:55.50) and Ethan Rolff (1:57.68), rounding out the minor placing's.
In the women's 200 meter backstroke it was the Australian champion, Clementine Stoney first in 2:09.02, ahead of Pan Pacific Championship team member, Melissa Morgan (2:11.02) and Commonwealth Games team member, Kelly Tucker (2:12.60).
Olympic and World Championship medalist, Justin Norris was in form in the 200 meter butterfly, winning in 1:55.56 with his Commonwealth Games teammate, Grant McGregor (1:56.70) and Canberra-based Queenslander, Joshua Krogh (1:57.97), trailing.
In the women's 200 meter butterfly it was the Pan Pacific Championship team member, Felicity Galvez who stormed home in 2:09.28 to touch out, Campbelltown's, Lara Davenport (2:09.86). Australian Commonwealth Games team member, Rachel Coffee (2:12.84) was third.
Jim Piper (2:10.86) won his 200 meter breaststroke race from lane one after a slow qualifier this morning. The Commonwealth Games swimmer relegated Luke Trickett (2:12.37) to second while Manchester bound Regan Harrison (2:13.03) rounded out the podium placings.
In the women's 200 meter breaststroke it was Brooke Hanson who clocked a personal best time of 2:22.55 to just defeat Commonwealth Games teammate, Leisel Jones (2:22.63). Kelli Waite finished third in 2:28.61.
In the 150 meter backstroke / breaststroke / freestyle event it was Manchester bound, Robert van der Zant 1:31.01 who came home ahead of Western Australian Adam Lucas (1:31.10). Pan Pacific Games team member, Trent Steed (1:32.32) took out the final minor placing.
Alice Mills (1:39.12) took out the women's event ahead of Commonwealth Games teammates, Jennifer Reilly (1:40.36) and Jessica Abbott (1:40.72).
The 50 meter events the results are as follows:
1.) Matt Welsh 24.53
2.) Ian Thorpe 25.24
3.) Joshua Taylor 25.38
1.) Nathan Crook 28.04
2.) Brenton Rickard 28.05
3.) Mark Riley 28.19
1.) Geoff Huegill 23.47
2.) Adam Pine 23.55
3.) Jason Cohen 24.80
1.) Brett Hawke 22.09
2.) Todd Pearson 22.28
3.) Ashley Callus 22.29
1.) Giaan Rooney 27.99
2.) Nicole Seah 28.59
3.) Dyana Calub 28.64
1.) Brooke Hanson 30.81
2.) Sarah Kasoulis 31.64
3.) Leisel Jones 32.35
1.) Nicole Irving 26.77
2.) Petria Thomas 26.88
3.) Marieke Guehrer 27.36
1.) Sarah Ryan 25.46
2.) Marieke Guehrer 25.59
3.) Michelle Engelsman 25.60