CANBERRA, Australia, June 10. EXPECTED to compete this weekend at the Telstra Grand Prix Meet in Canberra, Grant Hackett has removed himself from the competition due to illness. The Grand Prix, held at the Australian Institute of Sport, is highlighted by members of the Aussie National Team, which will compete next month in Montreal at the World Championships.
Bothered by a sore throat, Hackett decided it was unnecessary to race this weekend. He is scheduled to swim the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles in Montreal and is also contemplating adding the 200 free to his schedule. Originally, Hackett planned to skip the 200 free. Looking for his fourth straight 1500 free crown, Hackett is trying become the first man to win the distance-free trifecta.
As for the 200 free, Hackett’s involvement will be decided by Sunday, after consultation between Dennis Cotterell, Hackett’s coach, and Alan Thompson, the Australian National Team coach. Hackett was fifth in the 200 free at last summer’s Olympics and won bronze at the 2003 World Championships.
Having experienced heath problems in the past, due to heavy training, Hackett thought it was best that he not compete at the Grand Prix event. If Hackett does swim the 200 free, it would make two events in which he faces American Michael Phelps. The two will also square off in the 400 free.