MANCHESTER, England, April 10. THE second night of swimming at the FINA World Short Course Championships finished with an Australian triumph in the men's 800 free relay.
The foursome of Kirk Palmer (1:44.23), Grant Brits (1:44.89), Nicholas Sprenger (1:43.11) and Kenrick Monk (1:43.42) won the race by nearly a second with a meet-record time of 6:55.65. The readout cleared the previous standard of 6:59.08 set by Italy back in 2006. The win is Australia's first in the event since owning the race in 2002. Australia also won in 1995 and 1997.
"Well after we got the world record a few months ago at our selection trials for this event we were pretty confident coming into it, I mean (Grant) Hackett was part of that team so to have Nic Sprenger in his place, I mean he's got a lot of credentials going to Athens (Olympics) and stuff and having him back in form is an awesome point for the team," Brits told meet organizers. "So we were pretty confident but it was a really tough race, it was closer than we expected and it just shows that the standard is improving all the time."
Great Britain's Robert Renwick, David Carry, Andrew Hunter and Ross Davenport took silver with a time of 6:56.52 to destroy the national record of 7:03.06 set back in 2000, while Italy's team of Emiliano Brembilla, Massi Rosolino, Nicola Cassio and Filippo Magnini took bronze in 6:58.39, breaking the national record that had previously been the meet record as well.
The American contingent of Ryan Lochte, Robert Margalis, Larsen Jensen and Doug Van Wie placed fourth with a time of 7:00.19, which erased the American record of 7:01.33 set back in 2000.