|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 23, 2000
Hackett is long-distance champ, Bruijn takes the sprint
World champion Grant Hackett ended the eight-year Olympic reign of fellow Australian Kieren Perkins with an emphatic victory in the 1,500 m freestyle on Saturday, while Dutch swimmer Inge de Bruijn completed a golden Olympic treble when she won the women's 50 metres freestyle.
The US men's and women's medley quartets signed off in style by winning golds in world record times.
Hackett grabbed the initiative from the start and never let Perkins, the man he succeeded as world champion in 1998, get close in swimming's longest race over 30 lengths of the Homebush Bay pool.
Perkins, who had broken the 15-minute barrier for the first time since his Atlanta triumph in Friday's quickest heat time, went even faster in the final but it was not enough against his 20-year-old rival who quickly established a body-length's lead and then went away after the 1000m mark to win by more than five seconds.
Hackett, who had had a disappointing run until his glorious swim on the final day, clocked 14 minutes 48.33 seconds, with Perkins taking the silver in 14:53.59 and American Chris Thompson coming through for the bronze in 14:56.81.
Perkins had the same problems before Atlanta, where he won the final in the most dramatic fashion, blitzing the field from lane eight in what Australians call the greatest comeback ever.
By winning the silver here, Perkins has certainly claimed the title as the greatest 1500m swimmer ever. No-one in the event's history has equalled or bettered his tally of two gold and one silver in three Games.
For Hackett, the relief and jubilation was obvious as he punched the water and held up his finger to signify that he is the new No. 1.
European champion Therese Alshammar of Sweden got the women's 50 m freestyle off to a fast start but the 27-year-old De Bruijn pulled back towards the end of the one-length race to win in 24.32 seconds.
Alshammar, second in the 100 freestyle behind De Bruijn, took another silver in 24.51 and American Dara Torres the bronze in 24.63. Defending champion Amy van Dyken of the United States was fourth in 25.04.
De Bruijn claimed her third world record of the Sydney Games when she lowered her own 50 freestyle mark to 24.13 in Friday's semifinals from the 24.39 she swam in Rio de Janeiro in June this year.
She broke her own world record in Sunday's 100 butterfly final and accomplished a similar feat in the semifinals of the 100 freestyle on her way to winning Thursday's final.
The US men's team of Lenny Krayzelburg, Ed Moses, Ian Crocker and Gary Hall broke the world record in the 4x100-metres medley relay, coming home in three minutes 33.73 seconds to take gold.
They beat the previous best of 3:34.84 set by the U.S. in Atlanta in 1996.
The US women's 4x100-metres medley relay also broke the world record and Jenny Thompson raised her gold medal tally to eight in three Olympic Games.
The US quartet of Barbara Bedford, Megan Quann, Thompson and Dara Torres broke the four-minute barrier, clocking 3:58.30 to beat the mark of 4:01.67 set by China's He Cihong, Dai Guohong, Liu Limin and Le Jingyi at the world championships in Rome in September 1994.
Australia were also inside the old world mark, taking the silver in 4:01.59. Japan won bronze in 4:04.16, just ahead of Germany (4:04.33).
All Thompson's Olympic golds, a record number for a woman swimmer, have come in relays.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK