Hackett Sets Olympic Record in 1500, Just Nips Jensen, Davies

By Phillip Whitten

ATHENS, August 21. A REVOLUTION was born this day, in the final individual event of the 2004 Olympic Games on the final day of the swimming competition.

For years they Aussies have dominated the distance events like they were a private fiefdom owned lock, stock and barrel by Australia, Inc. No foreigners permitted, thank you.

The Aussie greats of the last 15 years – Perkins, Housman, Kowalski and Hackett — more ofen than not would simply beat up on their foreign competitors, measuring their victories in pool-lengths, rather than seconds or tenths of a second.

And the greatest of all these distance denizens has been one Grant Hackett — world record-holder, current world champion, defending Olympic champion, undefeated in seven years. Unassailable. Invincible.

Hackett won his pet event today, and he carved 8-hundredths of a second off Kieren Perkins' 1992 Olympic record in the process, touching in 14:43.40. But the days of Aussie dominance are gone, thanks to the efforts of two — no, make that three — teenagers separated by thousands of miles but sharing a determinataion to bring the Aussie distance dominance to a quick close.

Now, granted, if Hackett had made a concerted assault on his other-worldly 14:34.56 world record as he'd announced, there would still be a wide stretch of open water between him and the rest of the world. But all he could summon up was a 14:43.40 and, though only he and Perkins have ever swum the metric mile faster than that, Hackett's victory was not assured until his hand hit the pads.

The race started out precisely as so many have in the past. Hackett bolted to the lead and by 200 meters, had fashioned a three-second lead on Brit David Davies, American Larsen Jensen and Russian Yuri Prilukov.

At 400 meters, Hackett turned in 3:53.46, off his record pace but about 3.3 seconds ahead of the trio of tenacious teens. Then, as Prilukov started to drift off the pace, the three remaining contenders fought to a standstill, with no one gaining and Hackett refusing to give ground.

At 800 meters, the challengers began slowly to whittle Hackett's lead away: 2.6 seconds at 800, 1.27 at 1000, 0.90 at 1200, then 0.16 at 1400. With 100 meters to go, American upstart Larsen Jensen was only a sixth of a second behind, with Davies less than a stroke behind him!

Challenged as never before, Hackett summoned a sprint from deep inside himself and pulled away from the disrespectful pretenders to ensure his victory. At the wall, the margin was 1.89 seconds over Jensen, 2.55 seconds ahead of Davies, in what was the fastest, and one of the most exciting, 1500s of all-time.

Jensen's 14:45.29 is an American record and makes him the third fastest performer in history. Davies' 14:45.95 is a European mark and vaults him into fourth all-time performer. Prilukov finished fourth and out of the medals, but his 14:52.48 breaks Vladimir Salnikov's national record and makes Prilukov #6 all-time.

In a moving moment of sportsmanship Hackett was embraced by the previously Olympic record-holder Kieren Perkins on pool deck after the race (see picture). Perkins was doing interviewing for Australian television.

Hackett said of his victory, "I knew it was going to be so hard but I just wanted it so bad, it meant everything to me, I knew I was able to do it, it was simple, I had to hold off the American (Larsen Jensen). I spoke to Pieter (van den Hoogenband) and Ian (Thorpe) about defending your title … getting it the second time is really hard," he said.

"It did not take too long for me to recover, though it was a bit difficult to walk after the race. I haven't never really been pushed as much in the past. "The next four years are going to be tough but that’s OK I love a challenge," said the still reigning King of Distance.

Larsen Jensen was understandably pleased with his race, "It went just as planned. I know I can't go out with Grant, I don't have the speed he does, it's a dream come true to compete with this guy."

"I didn't have time to hurt today, I was just focussing on the race and not the pain. I was aware I was approaching Grant and that lit a fire up my but but you've got to hand it to the guy, he showed his true colours, he was a champion today. I wasn't going to give it to him easily, I don't think anybody would. He's taken the sport to a new level," Jensen said.

British swimmer David Davies said he had been chilled out all day and just wanted to enjoy the experience. He certainly did! "It was unbelievable, it was a great race I just wanted to swim my own race like I was told to do by my coach … I’m shocked but delighted," he said wrapped in the Union Jack (pictured below).

Men 1500m Freestyle Finals

Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 14:34.56 54.19
4:48.82
8:43.05
12:38.51 1:52.45
5:47.45
9:41.78
13:37.89 2:51.29
6:45.96
10:40.56 3:50.18
7:44.47
11:39.51 HACKETT Grant AUS Fukuoka (JPN) 29 JUL 2001
OR 14:43.48 55.30
4:50.59
8:47.43
12:46.23 1:53.64
5:49.67
9:46.91
13:45.97 2:52.61
6:49.00
10:46.28 3:51.59
7:48.27
11:45.86 PERKINS Kieren AUS Barcelona (ESP) 31 JUL 1992

Event No: 30

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. Time Time
Behind
1 3 HACKETT Grant AUS 0.76 14:43.40
27.80 OR
50m(1) 26.39
100m(1) 55.14
28.75 150m(1) 1:24.44
29.30 200m(1) 1:53.98
29.54 250m(1) 2:23.88
29.90 300m(1) 2:53.68
29.80 350m(1) 3:23.61
29.93 400m(1) 3:53.46
29.85
450m(1) 4:23.21
29.75 500m(1) 4:53.00
29.79 550m(1) 5:22.91
29.91 600m(1) 5:52.79
29.88 650m(1) 6:22.52
29.73 700m(1) 6:52.13
29.61 750m(1) 7:21.96
29.83 800m(1) 7:51.65
29.69
850m(1) 8:21.57
29.92 900m(1) 8:51.41
29.84 950m(1) 9:21.32
29.91 1000m(1) 9:51.01
29.69 1050m(1)10:20.48
29.47 1100m(1)10:50.03
29.55 1150m(1)11:19.67
29.64 1200m(1)11:49.30
29.63
1250m(1)12:18.78
29.48 1300m(1)12:48.38
29.60 1350m(1)13:17.90
29.52 1400m(1)13:47.32
29.42 1450m(1)14:15.60
28.28

2 6 JENSEN Larsen USA 0.74 14:45.29
28.56 1.89 AM
50m(6) 27.76
100m(5) 57.28
29.52 150m(5) 1:27.28
30.00 200m(5) 1:57.18
29.90 250m(5) 2:27.10
29.92 300m(4) 2:56.96
29.86 350m(3) 3:26.91
29.95 400m(3) 3:56.74
29.83
450m(3) 4:26.76
30.02 500m(3) 4:56.68
29.92 550m(3) 5:26.32
29.64 600m(3) 5:56.02
29.70 650m(3) 6:25.78
29.76 700m(3) 6:55.36
29.58 750m(3) 7:24.77
29.41 800m(3) 7:54.58
29.81
850m(=2) 8:23.89
29.31 900m(3) 8:53.47
29.58 950m(2) 9:22.79
29.32 1000m(2) 9:52.28
29.49 1050m(2)10:21.77
29.49 1100m(2)10:51.14
29.37 1150m(2)11:20.49
29.35 1200m(2)11:50.20
29.71
1250m(2)12:19.49
29.29 1300m(2)12:49.06
29.57 1350m(2)13:18.30
29.24 1400m(2)13:47.48
29.18 1450m(2)14:16.73
29.25

3 4 DAVIES David GBR 0.77 14:45.95
27.97 2.55 EU
50m(3) 27.36
100m(3) 56.86
29.50 150m(3) 1:26.89
30.03 200m(3) 1:56.77
29.88 250m(3) 2:26.89
30.12 300m(3) 2:56.57
29.68 350m(2) 3:26.70
30.13 400m(2) 3:56.50
29.80
450m(2) 4:26.53
30.03 500m(2) 4:56.12
29.59 550m(2) 5:26.01
29.89 600m(2) 5:55.63
29.62 650m(2) 6:25.48
29.85 700m(2) 6:55.05
29.57 750m(2) 7:24.75
29.70 800m(2) 7:54.21
29.46
850m(=2) 8:23.89
29.68 900m(2) 8:53.41
29.52 950m(3) 9:23.08
29.67 1000m(3) 9:52.50
29.42 1050m(3)10:22.24
29.74 1100m(3)10:51.97
29.73 1150m(3)11:21.59
29.62 1200m(3)11:51.25
29.66
1250m(3)12:21.00
29.75 1300m(3)12:50.12
29.12 1350m(3)13:19.59
29.47 1400m(3)13:48.89
29.30 1450m(3)14:17.98
29.09

4 5 PRILUKOV Yuri RUS 0.88 14:52.48
28.46 9.08
50m(4) 27.40
100m(4) 57.20
29.80 150m(6) 1:27.29
30.09 200m(4) 1:57.10
29.81 250m(6) 2:27.22
30.12 300m(5) 2:57.07
29.85 350m(5) 3:27.11
30.04 400m(4) 3:57.01
29.90
450m(4) 4:26.94
29.93 500m(4) 4:56.85
29.91 550m(4) 5:26.71
29.86 600m(4) 5:56.39
29.68 650m(4) 6:26.44
30.05 700m(4) 6:56.18
29.74 750m(4) 7:26.01
29.83 800m(4) 7:55.66
29.65
850m(4) 8:25.63
29.97 900m(4) 8:55.33
29.70 950m(4) 9:25.46
30.13 1000m(4) 9:55.45
29.99 1050m(4)10:25.76
30.31 1100m(4)10:55.61
29.85 1150m(4)11:25.52
29.91 1200m(4)11:55.57
30.05
1250m(4)12:25.68
30.11 1300m(4)12:55.08
29.40 1350m(4)13:24.91
29.83 1400m(4)13:54.72
29.81 1450m(4)14:24.02
29.30

5 2 GIANNIOTIS Spyridon GRE 1.01 15:03.69
28.86 20.29
50m(5) 27.51
100m(6) 57.37
29.86 150m(4) 1:27.24
29.87 200m(6) 1:57.53
30.29 250m(4) 2:27.07
29.54 300m(6) 2:57.29
30.22 350m(6) 3:27.27
29.98 400m(7) 3:57.65
30.38
450m(6) 4:27.73
30.08 500m(7) 4:58.25
30.52 550m(7) 5:28.62
30.37 600m(7) 5:59.45
30.83 650m(7) 6:29.93
30.48 700m(7) 7:00.86
30.93 750m(7) 7:31.42
30.56 800m(8) 8:02.54
31.12
850m(7) 8:32.93
30.39 900m(7) 9:03.98
31.05 950m(7) 9:34.34
30.36 1000m(7)10:05.38
31.04 1050m(6)10:35.47
30.09 1100m(6)11:05.99
30.52 1150m(6)11:35.77
29.78 1200m(6)12:05.79
30.02
1250m(6)12:35.77
29.98 1300m(6)13:05.74
29.97 1350m(5)13:35.06
29.32 1400m(5)14:05.08
30.02 1450m(5)14:34.83
29.75

6 1 SMITH Graeme GBR 0.76 15:09.71
28.53 26.31
50m(2) 27.25
100m(2) 56.62
29.37 150m(2) 1:26.59
29.97 200m(2) 1:56.47
29.88 250m(2) 2:26.59
30.12 300m(2) 2:56.51
29.92 350m(4) 3:27.04
30.53 400m(6) 3:57.39
30.35
450m(7) 4:27.85
30.46 500m(6) 4:58.09
30.24 550m(6) 5:28.59
30.50 600m(6) 5:59.09
30.50 650m(6) 6:29.77
30.68 700m(6) 7:00.42
30.65 750m(6) 7:31.17
30.75 800m(6) 8:01.79
30.62
850m(6) 8:32.54
30.75 900m(6) 9:03.27
30.73 950m(6) 9:34.23
30.96 1000m(6)10:05.24
31.01 1050m(7)10:35.85
30.61 1100m(7)11:06.54
30.69 1150m(7)11:37.08
30.54 1200m(7)12:07.88
30.80
1250m(7)12:38.61
30.73 1300m(7)13:09.51
30.90 1350m(7)13:40.19
30.68 1400m(7)14:10.96
30.77 1450m(7)14:41.18
30.22

7 7 COMAN Dragos ROM 0.89 15:10.21
30.32 26.81
50m(7) 28.09
100m(7) 57.71
29.62 150m(7) 1:27.61
29.90 200m(7) 1:57.62
30.01 250m(7) 2:27.49
29.87 300m(7) 2:57.39
29.90 350m(7) 3:27.40
30.01 400m(5) 3:57.26
29.86
450m(5) 4:27.13
29.87 500m(5) 4:57.18
30.05 550m(5) 5:27.04
29.86 600m(5) 5:57.04
30.00 650m(5) 6:27.10
30.06 700m(5) 6:57.17
30.07 750m(5) 7:27.25
30.08 800m(5) 7:57.19
29.94
850m(5) 8:27.43
30.24 900m(5) 8:57.79
30.36 950m(5) 9:28.13
30.34 1000m(5) 9:58.80
30.67 1050m(5)10:29.54
30.74 1100m(5)11:00.36
30.82 1150m(5)11:31.51
31.15 1200m(5)12:02.41
30.90
1250m(5)12:34.12
31.71 1300m(5)13:05.44
31.32 1350m(6)13:37.54
32.10 1400m(6)14:09.49
31.95 1450m(6)14:39.89
30.40

8 8 STEVENS Craig AUS 0.80 15:13.66
29.79 30.26
50m(8) 28.48
100m(8) 58.25
29.77 150m(8) 1:28.14
29.89 200m(8) 1:57.99
29.85 250m(8) 2:28.32
30.33 300m(8) 2:58.34
30.02 350m(8) 3:28.80
30.46 400m(8) 3:59.06
30.26
450m(8) 4:29.56
30.50 500m(8) 5:00.01
30.45 550m(8) 5:30.31
30.30 600m(8) 6:00.55
30.24 650m(8) 6:30.92
30.37 700m(8) 7:01.49
30.57 750m(8) 7:31.91
30.42 800m(7) 8:02.45
30.54
850m(8) 8:33.20
30.75 900m(8) 9:04.06
30.86 950m(8) 9:34.94
30.88 1000m(8)10:05.84
30.90 1050m(8)10:36.85
31.01 1100m(8)11:07.81
30.96 1150m(8)11:38.84
31.03 1200m(8)12:09.76
30.92
1250m(8)12:40.76
31.00 1300m(8)13:11.73
30.97 1350m(8)13:42.72
30.99 1400m(8)14:13.44
30.72 1450m(8)14:43.87
30.43

bronze medalist in 1500 free wearing british flag

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