Inside With Brett Hawke: Eamon Sullivan Regrets His 100 Freestyle Silver From 2008 Beijing Olympics

Photo Courtesy: Reuters / Swimming World Archive

Australian sprinter Eamon Sullivan was the latest guest on Brett Hawke’s podcast this week to talk about his elite career where he won three Olympic medals. Sullivan and Hawke crossed paths at the 2004 Olympic Games, where Sullivan made the team at age 18 (7:00) in the 4×100 freestyle relay, while Hawke made the final in the 50 free.

Sullivan had the nickname “Mad Dog” which he took on himself, and he detailed how that nickname came about (12:40), as well as what swimming in his first Olympics alongside his idols Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe was like. Sullivan changed his training regimen when he was 16 (22:00) to become strictly a sprinter, and he saw his best success when he was training less distance in Sydney. He had trained alongside great sprinters Libby Trickett and Matt Abood as well as Geoff Huegill.

Sullivan shared a past workout (28:00) that was one of the toughest ones he remembers in training for the back end of the 100 free. He went over the frustration of missing the 2005 Worlds team (33:00) and how it fueled him moving forward.

In 2008, Eamon Sullivan broke the world record in the 50 & 100 freestyle (45:00) but only won one medal across the two events in Beijing. He said it feels almost like a failure to win a silver medal in the 100 freestyle (48:00) since he had been quicker earlier in the meet than the gold medal winning time. Sullivan finished second behind France’s Alain Bernard and he went over why he still regrets that race to this day (52:00). He has become proud of his silver medal since, but it took a while to get to that point.

Sullivan had broken the world record earlier in the meet in leading off the legendary 4×100 freestyle relay, which has gone on to become one of the famous races in the history of the sport, and he also re-broke the record in the semi-finals.

Sullivan also gave his predictions for who will fight for the podium in the 50 and 100 freestyle (57:00) at the Tokyo Olympics.

Eamon Sullivan is the former world record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and won an individual silver medal in the 100 freestyle in 2008 at the Olympic Games. Sullivan also won a silver in the medley relay and a bronze in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

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