CANBERRA, Australia, June 13. NOW that Grant Hackett has decided to add the 200 freestyle to his World Championship program, the Australian has doubled his number of clashes with Michael Phelps. Originally scheduled to swim Phelps in only the 400 free, Hackett will get a double-dose of the American.
Hackett, though, is not merely focused on Phelps, the eight-time Olympic medalist. Nor is he telling himself that a quartet of individual victories are likely. Hackett is slated to swim the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles in Montreal and discussed the World Championships over the weekend.
"It will be a great opportunity to race Phelps again as he is recognized as one of the world's greatest athletes," Hackett told the Herald Sun. "But by no means is he the only competitor in the field or do I expect to win all my chosen events."
Embracing one of the most difficult programs in Montreal, Hackett would have to package the finest competition of his career to win four titles. But, in the 200 free, it seems he’s using a tactful line. Since the Netherlands’ Pieter van den Hoogenband will not compete due to injury, the 200 is basically a two-man affair.