By John Lohn
MELBOURNE, Australia, March 30. THE health of Brendan Hansen, forced to pull out the 200 breaststroke due to a virus, has dramatically improved. Hansen indicated via e-mail today that if the decision is left in his hands, he'll be ready to go for the 400 medley relay on the final night of action. Hansen is the world-record holder in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, and as a member of the U.S. medley relay.
Hansen began feeling ill the morning of the 50 breaststroke final, in which he finished second, but kept his struggles confined to a small circle, one that included Ken Haller, the Team USA physician. He became extremely ill following the 50 breast and spent that night and the next day being attended to by Haller. In the last few hours, though, Hansen has improved. He was in the water twice today.
"I am very eager to bounce back and get back in the meet," Hansen said. "The frustration and disappointment of this whole situation has got me fired up. The coaches obviously are going to put the best relay they can together and depending on my energy and strength level, we will see. The doctor has to clear me and I am confident I will be on it. They know how I respond to situations like this and they know the only outcome is that anger will push me to go even faster."