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Hackett Beats World Swimming Record

The Associated Press, Sun 29 Jul 2001  
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FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) — Grant Hackett slashed seven seconds off the 1,500-meter freestyle world record Sunday to highlight Australian domination of the world swimming championships.

Hackett finished in 14 minutes, 34.56 seconds — 7.1 seconds better than the 7-year-old mark set by fellow Australian Kieren Perkins.

Capping eight days of racing, Australia won a duel down the last 50 meters of the women's 400-meter medley relay and beat the United States by 0.31 seconds for the meet's final gold.

``This is the sweetest victory I've ever had,'' said Petria Thomas, who swam the butterfly leg and finished with three gold medals. She also had been the culprit in Australia's disqualification after finishing first in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

``There couldn't be a better way to end the tournament. The whole Australian team has had a great meet,'' Thomas said.

The Aussies finished with 13 gold medals to nine for the Americans and accounted for six of the eight world records set here.

At the Sydney Olympics, the United States won 14 golds to five for the hosts.

The Americans had final-day chances in both the relay and the men's 400-meter individual medley, but Italy's Alessio Boggiatto beat two American Olympic medalists in the IM.

In other events Sunday, Dutch swimmer Inge de Bruijn won her third world championships gold, in the women's 50 freestyle, and Ukrainians won two races.

Oleg Lisogor sprinted ahead of a star-studded field in the men's 50-meter breaststroke, and Yana Klochkova gained her second gold by winning the women's 400 freestyle.

Hackett had finished a close second in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle races to teammate Ian Thorpe, who came out of the meet with six gold medals and three individual world records. (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

In the 1,500, where he is Olympic champion, Hackett led by nearly two seconds after 100 meters and by some 40 meters at the end. The crowd roared at the end of every lap as the scoreboard showed bigger and bigger gains over world record pace.

He marked his triumph by raising both hands first to his Australian teammates and then to the crowd. Thorpe was among those prominently celebrating.

In the relay, Thomas was the swimmer who put Australia ahead. The quartet finished in a meet record 4:01.50, with the Americans second in 4:01.81 and China third in 4:02.53.

Thomas, who also won gold in the 100 and 200 butterfly, had caused Australia's disqualification in the 800 relay by jumping in the pool in celebration before the last rival swimmer finished

De Bruijn led all the way in her race, winning in 24.47 seconds — 0.34 seconds off her world record.


 
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