By Stephen J. Thomas
BRISBANE, Australia, July 9. GRANT Hackett sent world record-holder Ian Thorpe a clear message that he will give him a real challenge in the 400 free in Athens when he cruised to an outstanding 3:44.80 tonight. Hackett, who is still in full work, turned just over one-second outside Thorpe's world mark in 1:50.64.
Petria Thomas swam a brilliant 58.27 in the 100 fly not long after taking second behind Elka Graham in the 200 freestyle. Thomas went 1:59.59 to Elka Graham’s impressive 1:58.97.
World record-holder Leisel Jones continued her sensational unrested form when she clocked the fastest 100 breaststroke this year – 1:07.03. (split 31.64). Brooke Hanson took second in 1:07.75.
Ian Thorpe skipped the 400 but swam a quality 100 free to win in 49.23 from Todd Pearson (50.19), rookie Eamon Sullivan (50.35) and Michael Klim (50.44).
Jim Piper won the 200 breaststroke in 2:14.08 while Justin Norris took the 200 fly in 1:58.37 and then edged Adam Lucas 4:17.58 to 4:18.30 in the 400IM.
Giaan Rooney clocked her second best time in the 100 backstroke to win in 1:01.69 and Linda Mackenkie took out the 800 free in a very solid 8:36.94.