MELBOURNE, Australia, December 6. ONE of our faithful followers brought this particularly fun nugget of information to our attention last night. 57 years ago, United States distance stud George Breen was in the middle of a similar Dec. 5-7 meet schedule as it taking place in Knoxville this weekend for the USA Swimming Winter Nationals.
At the 1956 Olympics, Breen was able to recapture the men’s 1500 freestyle world record from Australia’s Murray Rose on Dec. 5, 1956 with a time of 17:52.9 in Melbourne that weekend. This came after Rose clocked a 17:59.5 to become the first sub-18:00 man as he broke Breen’s May 3, 1956 world record of 18:05.9.
Two days later, Breen could not summon the same type of speed as he wound up taking bronze behind Rose and Tsuyoshi Yamanaka of Japan with Rose posting a 17:58.9, Yamanaka clocking an 18:00.3 and Breen taking bronze in 18:08.2.
Breen, a four-time Olympic medalist and world-record holder in the 800 free, 1500 free and 800 free relay, is currently still active in the sport. He not coaches at the Jersey Wahoos Swim Club in New Jersey after having previously spent time at GCIT Swimming before it converted to head coach Matt Sprang’s Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club.
Enjoy this 2007 Interview with George Breen