Adelaide - Dual Olympic champion Grant Hackett struggled into fourth place as
Mack Horton swam a scorching time to win the 400m freestyle at the
Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide on Thursday.
Hackett, 35, who came out of six years of troubled retirement to try
to make the Games, could not keep pace with Horton and David McKeon and
missed out qualifying in the event for the Rio Olympics.
Horton's winning time of 3:41.65 seconds was the seventh fastest of
all-time and the second-fastest by an Australian behind Ian Thorpe.
McKeon finished second in 3:45.09 to also qualify for Rio, while Hackett came in fourth in 3:48.84.
Hackett, who retired in 2008 after winning the 1 500m freestyle at
both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics, and claiming four world
titles in the event, will now attempt to qualify for the Olympics in the
200m freestyle relay.
"Those two guys were well ahead of me and I was always realistic
about this race and the fact that I had missed a lot of work and I will
now be focusing on the 200m swim," Hackett said.
"Just to be in that race and see Mack swim a 3:41 is an incredibly fast swim and it was awesome being in that race.
"That was thing about today whether to race tonight and make myself a
little bit tired for tomorrow and at the end of the day I'm here to
challenge myself and certainly did that tonight and will do that over
the next couple of days.
"The focus has always been on the 200m freestyle, hey, I'm 36 next
month, let's not kid ourselves, I've been around for a while and these
guys are the stars of today and it's great racing here and to be
In other finals, Thomas Fraser-Holmes dominated the 400m individual
medley in 4:11.09, more than three seconds faster than nearest rival
Blair Evans (4:35.26) and Keryn McMaster (4:37.94) qualified for Rio in the women's 400m individual medley.
Results of finals on the opening day of the Australian Swimming Championships and Olympic Games trials in Adelaide on Thursday:
400m individual medley: 1. Thomas Fraser-Holmes 4 minutes 11.09 seconds, 2. Travis Mahoney 4:14.98, 3. Clyde Lewis 4:16.58
400m freestyle: 1. Mack Horton 3:41.65, 2. David McKeon 3:45.09, 3. Jack McLoughlin 3:46.27
400m individual medley: 1. Blair Evans 4:35.26, 2. Keryn McMaster 4:37.94, 3. Ellen Fullerton 4:39.72