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April 4, 2015

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Hackett scoops bronze in comeback at world trials

DUAL Olympic champion Grant Hackett finished third in the 400-meters freestyle final in his comeback swim after seven years out of the pool at Australia’s world championship trials in Sydney yesterday.

The 34-year-old, in his first major meet since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, clocked three minutes, 46.53 seconds to finish with the bronze medal behind Mack Horton (3:42.84) and defending champion David McKeon (3:44.28).

Hackett surprised everyone including himself when he qualified fourth-fastest for the final, shaving five seconds off his best time since returning to the pool six months ago.

Based on yesterday’s result, he is considered to have a strong chance of a top-six 200m freestyle finish and, as a result, a relay berth for this year’s world championships in Kazan, Russia.

“I can’t believe I can do that after six months,” Hackett said after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the event at the worlds. “Maybe I am a bit older and stronger. Who knows what I can do in another six months?

“Everything is a bonus,” he said. “I have nothing to prove in the sport. I have won Olympic gold medals, broken world records — I can’t do anything else. I just want to see how fast my old body can swim.”


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