MELBOURNE, March 19. GRANT Hackett, Australian WR-holder in the 1500m freestyle, said today he believes the threat of a war with Iraq means the Australian swim team will need a safety guarantee before they commit to traveling to the U.S. to compete in next month's Duel in the Pool in Indianapolis.
The Australian team is scheduled to fly to the U.S. after the March 22-29 Australian Nationals/World Champs Trials.
"If our security is jeopardized in any shape or form and we can't have our safety 100 percent confirmed, I'm sure we won't be going," Hackett told Australian reporters in a teleconference today.
"Hopefully we can all get on with our lives and be able to compete against the U.S.," he said, "but it will be up to the senior staff of Australian Swimming to decide whether we'll be guaranteed 100 percent safety.
"In probably the next 24 to 36 hours we'll really be able to assess the situation and see what's going on.
"After all, the war is in the Middle East; it's not happening in America and we'd like to think that no other countries will be affected by such things happening."