By Phillip Whitten & Michael Collins
SYDNEY, Sept. 23. The final night of swimming at the Sydney Aquatic Centre. A total of 14 world records were set during the meet including 2 on the final day – both by American relays.
Australia, too, had plenty to cheer about on the final night. In the most anticipated event of the Games, the Aussies went one-two in the 1500 meters free, with Grant Hackett dethroning double defending Olympic champion, Kieren Perkins.
The US men wound up with 17 medals: seven gold, six silver and four bronze; the US women had a total of 16: seven gold, two silver and seven bronze. The USA easily topped the overall medal count with 33 (14-8-11), followed by Australia with 18 (5-9-4) and the Netherlands with 8 (5-1-2).
Here's how the events went on Day 8 of the 2000 Olympic Games.
Women's 50 Free Final
Gold – de Bruijn NED 24.32
Silver – Alshammar SWE 24.51
Bronze – Torres USA 24.63 American Record
4. van Dyken USA 25.04
5. Moravcova SVK 25.24
6. Voelker GER 25.27
7. Sheppard GBR 25.45
8. Minamoto JPN 25.65
As the women mounted the blocks for the start of the 50 meters freestyle, virtually everyone in this jam-packed stadium had already conceded the gold to Holland's Inge De Bruijn. The blond bombshell from Eindhoven, who had already won the 100 fly and 100 free and set world records in those events as well as the 50 free, performed as expected. Inky clocked 24.32 seconds–the second fastest time in history. Only her own 24.13 from semis is faster.
"I came through–that's the great thing," exulted De Bruijn. "I'm so happy I did it."
Sweden's Therese Aslhammar was a strong second, her 24.51 equaling the world mark B.I.–Before Inky. Ageless wonder Dara Torres was third in an American record 24.63, while the defending Olympic champion, Amy Van Dyken was fourth.
Men's 1500 Free FINAL
Gold – Hackett AUS 14:48.33
Silver – Perkins AUS 14:53.59
Bronze – Thompson USA 14:56.81 American Record
4. Filipets RUS 14:56.88
5. Neethling RSA 15:00.48 South African Record
6. Vendt USA 15:08.61
7. Chervynskiy UKR 15:08.80
8. Hell GER 15:19.80
The Aussie finally got their first 1-2 sweep of the meet. Hackett took control from the beginning and never looked back. Perkins went out close to him and looked as if he might be able to challenge in the middle of the race, but Hackett put the pedal to the metal and pulled away from his storied elder teammate. Still he finished comfortably ahead of third to the delight of the crowd.
"This is everything," said Hackett after acknowledging the cheers of the crowd. "This is the one you want to win. This is the Olympics, in your own country, here in Sydney. I mean it's everything you work for. It comes to this day and I've done it and I'm very happy."
American Chris Thompson came up with a spectacular swim to take the bronze by just out-touching a fast-closing Alexei Filipets of Russia. He also destroyed Eric Vendt's American record set at the US Trials in August. In an effort to maintain contact with the leaders, Vendt went out far faster than he ever has (4:57.80 at 500m), and paid a heavy price over the last 500.
200 – 1:53.66
400 – 3:52.39
500 – 4:52.11
800 – 7:51.74
1000 – 9:51.35 (4:59.24)
1500 -14:48.33 (4:56.98)
200 – 1:55.24
500 – 4:54.25
800 – 7:53.57
1000 – 9:53.89 (4:59.64)
1500 -14:53.59 (4:59.70)
200 – 1:57.14
400 – 3:56.89
500 – 4:56.77
800 – 7:56.71
1000 -9:58.20 (5:01.43)
1500 – 14:56.81 (4:58.61)
200 – 1:56.88
400 – 3:57.60
500 – 4:57.80
800 – 7:57.76
1000 – 9:58.09 (5:00.29)
1500 – 15:08.61 (5:10.52)
Women's 400 Medley Relay FINAL
Gold – United States 3:58.30 World Record
Silver – Australia 4:01.59 Australian Record
Bronze – Japan 4:04.16 Japanese Record
4. Germany 4:04.33 German Record
5. South Africa 4:05.15 South African Record
6. Canada 4:07.55 Canadian Record
7. Great Britain 4:07.61 British Record
8. China 4:07.83
In the final women's event of the Sydney Games, the US women made an emphatic statement, winning the 4 x 00 meter medley relay in spectacular fashion by setting a world record and becoming the first women's medley relay team to crack the magic four-minute barrier with a 3:58.30. The US women did it by recording the fastest split for every leg of the relay. Dara Torres' anchor leg of 53.37 is the fastest 100 meter freestyle relay split in history.
Bedford back 1:01.39
Quann breast 1:06.29
Thompson fly 57.25
Torres free 53.37
Men's 400 Medley Relay FINAL
Gold – United States 3:33.73 World Record
Silver – Australia 3:35.27 Australian Record
Bronze – Germany 3:35.88 European record
4. Netherlands 3:37.53
5. Hungary 3:39.09
6. Canada 3:39.88
7. France 3:40.02
8. Great Britain 3:40.19
With the cheers from the US women's world record medley relay effort still ringing in their ears, the US men decided to match them. And that's just what they did, keeping the most remarkable streak in international swimming alive: the US men have won the 4 x 100 meter medley relay every time it has been contested, each time setting a world record.
This evening, the US team of Lenny Krayzelburg, Ed Moses, Ian Crocker and Gary Hall led from the start and clocked 3:33.73, breaking the mark of 3:34.84 set by the 1996 US Olympic team.
Ed Moses recorded the first sub one-minute 100 meter breaststroke split, clocking 59.84 seconds. Australia's Geoff Huegill made a mighty effort to bring his team back into contention. His 51.33 butterfly split was the fastest ever, beating the 51.55 notched by Russia's Denis Pankratov in 1996. Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband had the fastest freestyle split this afternoon, 47.24. he owns the fastest relay split ever at 47.20 from the 1999 European Championships.
Krayzelburg back 53.87
Moses breast 59.84
Crocker fly 52.10
Hall Jr. free 47.92
For more stories and photos visit the CBS OLYMPIC SWIMMING SITE.
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