Thorpe Wins His First-Ever 1500

By Stephen J. Thomas

Sydney, Australia – Ian Thorpe, Swimming World’s Male Swimmer of the Year in 1998 and 1999, won the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle over the three days of the New South Wales Open (Long Course) Championships at Homebush, January 19-21, which followed immediately after the FINA World Cup meet.

In his first attempt at the 1500m, he clocked 15:25.05, which would have placed him eighteenth in the world in 1999. Would Thorpe seriously consider the 1500m? “I was bored after about 700m and wanted to get out,” he said after the race. However, he said he would enter the 1500m at the Australian Olympic trails in May, but would only consider swimming the distance if he did not qualify for the 100m.

Several international swimmers stayed over to compete at this meet but many only swam the preliminary races. The meet saw an excellent performance from butterfly swimmer Geoff Huegill, who missed the FINA World Cup meet. Huegill clocked an excellent 52.86 to win the 100m fly from Atlanta silver medalist Scott Miller.

Fourteen-year-old America swimmer, Kalyn Keller (Phoenix Swim Club), won the women’s 400m and 800m freestyle in 4:17.56 and 8:45.76, respectively.

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