By John Lohn
Photos by Peter H. Bick
MONTREAL, Canada, July 31. HISTORY. That’s what Grant Hackett made on Sunday night, thanks to his victory in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. The Australian distance ace navigated the metric mile in 14:42.58 and captured his fourth consecutive crown in the event. By hitting his quartet, Hackett became the first man – any stroke – to accomplish the feat.
Hackett moved to the front of the field from the start and had little trouble holding off his opposition. His victory, the fourth fastest swim in history over the thirty-lap race, capped a sensational week for Hackett, who also won titles in the 400 and 800 freestyles, taking the 800 in world-record time. Hackett also added silver in the 200 free and helped the Aussies to bronze in the 800 free relay.
The Olympic silver medalist, American Larsen Jensen repeated that finish here, but not without a little suspense. Jensen was in second place for the majority of the race, but was overtaken by Great Britain’s David Davies with 100 meters to go. Jensen, though, dug deep and edged back in front of the Welshman under the flags to clock 14:47.58. Davies picked up bronze in 14:48.11, the medal he earned in Athens. Both were just outside their PR times recorded in Athens.
Russia’s Yuri Prilukov also matched his Athens placing taking fourth in a PR 14:51.62 and Polish teen Mateusz Sawrymowicz was an eye-catching fifth, also dipping under the 15-minute mark with a national record of 14:59.38. China’s Zhang Lin was sixth (15:09.79), France’s Sebastien Rouault was seventh in 15:09.84 and eighth went to Germany’s Christian Hein with a mark of 15:14.91.