Hackett out to shave time off record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hackett out to shave time off record

04/08/2004 08:12:04 PM Comments (0)

A bald Grant Hackett will take to the blocks at the Athens Olympics hoping to prove that Samson was wrong - all your strength isn't in your hair.

Hackett has shaved his head so he can race without a cap in the open air Athens pool and says without a hint of arrogance a world record in the 1500m freestyle is well and truly on the agenda.

The 24-year-old holds the world mark of 14m:34.56s set at the 2001 world championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

He believes the time may be ripe for him to become the first swimmer in history to crash through the 14:30 barrier.

"My preparation indicates that I could swim down near my best. I'm not talking anything up, it's just where I'm at regardless of it being a world record or not," Hackett said during the Australian team's training camp In Sindelfingen, Germany.

"If everything's going well it should be a personal best by a good margin. If ... I feel good on the day which is essential in a 1500 ... I should do a personal best.

"Unless things go really wrong, I would hate to think I would swim over 14:40 to be honest." Hackett is the only swimmer in history to have swum under 14:40 for the gruelling 30-lap event.

Even without a world record, the Olympic champion will achieve godlike status if he can win back-to-back Olympic 1500m titles with only three other swimmers in history achieving the feat, including Kieren Perkins.

Already it's difficult to think of Hackett as a mere mortal.

Even though he's an asthmatic, he still has a lung capacity of 12.6 litres - more than double most humans.

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