Thorpe wins 200m gold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpe wins 200m gold

17/08/2004 02:51:07 AM Comments (0)

Ian Thorpe turned the tables on defending champion Pieter van den Hoogenband to win the 200m freestyle title in Athens and secure his fifth Olympic gold medal.

The 21-year-old clocked an Olympic record 1 minute 44.71 seconds to beat Dutchman van den Hoogenband by about half a second.

An animated Thorpe punched the air with a clenched fist and yelled "whoa" after the race.

"It felt hard. It was tough. It was a pretty good performance. I'm ecstatic," the world recordholder said minutes after the race.

His swim ranks as the third fastest 200m freestyle performance in history.

Van den Hoogenband, who beat Thorpe for the gold at the Sydney 2000 Games, powered to the wall in 1:45.23.

The men's 200m freestyle in Athens had been dubbed the "race of the century", with four world recordholders - all Olympic champions - in the one event.

For the one and only time in Athens, the race pitted Thorpe and American speed teen Michael Phelps head-to-head in an individual race.

Phelps, who holds world records in the 200m and 400m individual medleys and the 200m butterfly, had said leading into the race he wanted to meet Thorpe in a freestyle event before either of them retired.

Thorpe's performance sent an unequivocal message to the 19-year-old Baltimore boy - stay off my turf.

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