COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 14. WORLD-record holder and Olympic Gold Medalist Brendan Hansen garnered the U.S. Olympic Committee’s August Athlete of the Month award as announced on Thursday. Meanwhile, the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay from the Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships finished second in the team vote, and Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long finished third in the women’s category.
During the month of August, Hansen lowered his own world record in the 100 breast, and the 200 breaststroke twice. Hansen smashed the world mark in both breaststroke distances at the 2006 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships, breaking the 100 breast world record by almost two-tenths (59.13) and the 200 breast record by three-tenths (2:08.74). Fifteen days later at the Pan Pacific Championships, Hansen again lowered his own 200 breast world record by more than two-tenths of a second, finishing in 2:08.50. He also won gold and set Championships records in the 100 breast and as a member of the 400 medley relay.
The men's 400 free relay of Michael Phelps, Neil Walker, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak set a world record at the Pan Pacs, marking the first time the United States has held the world mark in that event since 1995. Team USA finished in 3:12.46, shattering the former world record of 3:13.17 set by South Africa at the 2004 Olympic Games. In swimming on this relay, Jones also became the first African American swimmer to break a world record for the United States.
Long set new American and Pan American records in the women's s8/sb7/sm8 classifications in the 400 free and 100 backstroke at the 2006 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships. In the 100 free, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley, she set new American, Pan American and World Records. Of the seven Paralympic events offered for her classification, Long is presently ranked first or second in the world in all of them.
USA Swimming Media Relations contributed to this report.