By Phillip Whitten
Phoenix, AZ – Gary Hall, Jr., who won the 50m freestyle in dramatic fashion at the U.S. National Championships three days ago, has decided he will swim for the United States at the upcoming Pan Pacific Championships in Sydney, Australia.
The 24-year-old sprinter won the 50 in 22.13 seconds, a lifetime best and a time that makes him the fifth fastest man in history.
Hall, who had been diagnosed with diabetes last March and who was sick with the flu just days before the meet, was unsure if he would travel to Sydney for the pre-Olympic spectacle.
Dennis Pursley, U.S. National Team Director, gave Hall permission to fly to Sydney next Tuesday, August 17, allowing him time to regain the weight he lost from the flu and to get his insulin levels back to normal, something his doctors had insisted upon. The rest of the U.S. team left Los Angeles for Sydney tonight.
Hall, who has been signed up by USA Swimming to swim both the individual 50m and 100m freestyle events, and on the 400m freestyle and 400m medley relays at the Pan Pacific meet, said he would swim only the 50, but might swim the 100 on a relay during prelims. He said, however, he would not swim on the relay in the finals.