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Thorpe Keeps His 400 Free Olympic Crown, Just Holds off Hackett Yet Again. Klete Keller Breaks His American Record, Takes the Bronze. -- August 14, 2004 thorpe hackett 1/2 400 free

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece, August 14. AUSSIE world record-holder Ian Thorpe has had a tough few months when it comes to his signature race. The infamous DQ back at Aussie Trials in March has no doubt weighed heavily on his strong shoulders coming into this meet.

Thorpe had only one swim over the distance - the Janet Evans meet in Long Beach in June - since he took gold at the World Champs in Barcelona and Grant Hackett had posted the fastest time to date for 2004. If ever Hackett might turn the tables on his teammate, tonight was the night.

Hackett was close -- very close. But at the wall he had to be content with silver, just 0.26 of a second behind Thorpe who touched in 3:43.10. Hackett’s time of 3:43.36 was 0.01 of a second slower than his winning time at the Aussie Trials without the presence of Thorpe.

Ironically, the three medalists from Sydney reprised their gold, silver and bronze performances here. Only this time it was much closer. Last time around, Thorpe beat Keller by almost seven seconds. This time, with Thorpe three seconds slower and Keller three seconds faster, the margin was less than a second.

Anyone taking bets for Beijing in 2008?

Hackett led early tonight, but Thorpe moved to the lead at the 200m mark and was never headed, although both Hackett and Klete Keller were faster over the final 50 meters.

Thorpe said of his win, “it is a pretty good result, I was emotional, I did not realize how much this event meant to me. I am more excited now that it is off my shoulders.”

Hackett said of his race, “ I just needed a few more meters, we’ve had some great races over the years but this one will go down in history”.

For Keller, it was a new American record 3:44.11, trimming 0.08 of a second from his time at the Olympic trials last month and more importantly a well-deserved second Olympic bronze in this event.

The USA’s other man in the final, Larsen Jensen, was out of the medal battle by the middle stages of the race but came home in a new PR 3:46.08 edging out Sydney 2000 silver medalist Massi Rosolino (3:46.25).







Men 400m Freestyle Finals


Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 3:40.08 53.02 1:49.57 2:45.43 THORPE Ian AUS Manchester (GBR) 30 JUL 2002
OR 3:40.59 52.64 1:48.86 2:45.09 THORPE Ian AUS Sydney (AUS) 16 SEP 2000


Event No: 3

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. Time Time
Behind
1 5 THORPE Ian AUS 0.87 3:43.10
27.58
50m(1) 25.91
100m(3) 54.33
28.42 150m(2) 1:22.86
28.53 200m(1) 1:51.04
28.18 250m(1) 2:19.33
28.29 300m(1) 2:47.09
27.76 350m(1) 3:15.52
28.43
2 4 HACKETT Grant AUS 0.73 3:43.36
27.46 0.26
50m(2) 25.94
100m(1) 54.12
28.18 150m(=3) 1:22.94
28.82 200m(3) 1:51.43
28.49 250m(2) 2:19.72
28.29 300m(2) 2:47.86
28.14 350m(2) 3:15.90
28.04
3 2 KELLER Klete USA 0.87 3:44.11
27.87 1.01 AM
50m(4) 26.45
100m(2) 54.23
27.78 150m(1) 1:22.62
28.39 200m(2) 1:51.37
28.75 250m(3) 2:20.00
28.63 300m(3) 2:48.24
28.24 350m(3) 3:16.24
28.00
4 3 JENSEN Larsen USA 0.72 3:46.08
27.71 2.98
50m(8) 27.11
100m(8) 55.92
28.81 150m(6) 1:24.21
28.29 200m(6) 1:52.89
28.68 250m(6) 2:21.51
28.62 300m(5) 2:50.01
28.50 350m(5) 3:18.37
28.36
5 6 ROSOLINO Massimiliano ITA 0.85 3:46.25
28.81 3.15
50m(3) 26.44
100m(4) 54.51
28.07 150m(=3) 1:22.94
28.43 200m(4) 1:51.49
28.55 250m(4) 2:20.05
28.56 300m(4) 2:48.71
28.66 350m(4) 3:17.44
28.73
6 7 PRILUKOV Yuri RUS 0.86 3:46.69
27.76 3.59
50m(6) 26.75
100m(5) 55.22
28.47 150m(5) 1:23.87
28.65 200m(5) 1:52.62
28.75 250m(5) 2:21.44
28.82 300m(6) 2:50.44
29.00 350m(6) 3:18.93
28.49
7 1 GIANNIOTIS Spyridon GRE 0.89 3:48.77
28.24 5.67
50m(5) 26.60
100m(6) 55.56
28.96 150m(7) 1:24.38
28.82 200m(7) 1:53.52
29.14 250m(7) 2:22.47
28.95 300m(7) 2:51.66
29.19 350m(7) 3:20.53
28.87
8 8 MATSUDA Takeshi JPN 0.82 3:48.96
27.75 5.86 AS
50m(7) 27.10
100m(7) 55.65
28.55 150m(8) 1:24.85
29.20 200m(8) 1:54.10
29.25 250m(8) 2:23.32
29.22 300m(8) 2:52.68
29.36 350m(8) 3:21.21
28.53