Other Sport

Hackett comeback gathers steam

2015-03-31 08:48
Grant Hackett (File)

Sydney - Olympic swimming great Grant Hackett takes another step in his comeback following a troubled spell in retirement at the Australian swimming championships starting on Friday, and is relaxed about his chances.

The 34-year-old walked away from the sport in 2008 after winning the 1 500m freestyle at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and claiming four world titles in the event. He won silver in the event at the 2008 Olympics.

But his life later ran into problems, with a messy divorce from singer-songwriter wife Candice Alley and allegations he smashed up his Melbourne apartment.

Last year the former 1 500m world record-holder underwent rehab in the United States after seeking help for an addiction to sleeping pills.

He is now back under his old coach Denis Cotterell and will line up on the blocks at the national championships in Sydney.

Hackett told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the upheaval in his personal life led him back to the pool, but he was a different swimmer the second time around.

"I don't have expectations like I did before and I sort of reserve the right to pull out at any time," he said.

Hackett added that the championships would allow him to gauge his place among the country's elite swimmers.

"Whilst I am enjoying it I will continue to do it but if I don't enjoy it, I can pull out at any time because it's not like I have set up any grand vision of this big comeback," he said.

"I want to just enjoy swimming and hopefully swim fast."

Despite the 1 500m being the event where he enjoyed huge success, his comeback has focused on the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Hackett said swimming competitively in the 1 500m again was currently out of his reach.

"If I really want to continue with this and if I look to going all the way to the Olympic trials next year... it's just really too short a time frame," he said.

"For the time that I've actually had out of the sport and the fitness and the base work that actually needs to be done for a race like that, it would just be too difficult."

Cotterell said retirement had not diminished Hackett's work ethic.

"He trains like he used to and that's as hard as anyone can possibly go," Cotterell told the national broadcaster.

Read more on:    swimming

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.