Thorpedo fires past Hackett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpedo fires past Hackett

By Will Swanton 21/06/2003 06:36:39 PM Comments (0)

Ian Thorpe's preparations for next month's world championships were completed in ominous fashion on Saturday night when he accounted for arch rival Grant Hackett in the 200m freestyle at the Telstra Grand Prix meet.

Thorpe, who will attempt to win a Mark Spitz-esque seven gold medals in Barcelona, accounted for Hackett for the umpteenth time in their careers, clocking 1min49.95sec to an upbeat Hackett's 1:50.39 at the Sydney Aquatic Centre.

"I guess I've fired the arrows, I'm just waiting for the bullseye now," said Thorpe.

"It felt good. I was happy with that, things are coming along well at this stage. Things can change but I'm positive with where I'm at, at the moment. I'm looking forward to heading over to Barcelona."

Satisfied with his form, Thorpe's priority now is to stay healthy. He suffered a meningitis-type illness before the Australian championships in March and does not want a repeat before the world titles.

"I have to really observe how my body's handling different things," he said.

"The warning signs are fatigue, temperatures, every different symptom you can possibly have ... you try not to get that all at the same time.

"If I get one or more of those, I'll have to step back a little bit because I don't want all five. I was a little unwell after the Cairns Grand Prix in May. I came back and about three days later I wasn't all that well but that's about the only hiccup I've really had.

"Your health's always a concern, no matter what. You really have to observe what your body's telling you. As athletes you learn to push yourselves as far as you can and sometimes it's very difficult to take a step back from that."

Olympic 1500m champion Hackett's effort over 200m, coming on the back of a comfortable win against a Thorpe-less 400m field earlier in the day, indicated there was nothing wrong with his preparations for Barcelona, either.

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