Hackett upstages flying Dutchman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hackett upstages flying Dutchman

By Guy Hand 08/12/2002 06:08:17 AM Comments (0)

Australian Grant Hackett has upstaged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband at the World Cup swimming meet in Melbourne, recording the second fastest shortcourse time ever in the men's 200m freestyle.

Only Ian Thorpe has swum faster than Hackett's 1min 42.48sec tonight, as the Aussie used van den Hoogenband's challenge to drive himself on to his second victory of this meet.

If the field also contained Thorpe - who has bypassed all the middle distance events in Melbourne to swim only the 50m freestyle on Sunday - it's arguable Thorpe's world mark of 1:41.10 may have tumbled.

Instead, Hackett and van den Hoogenband had to be content with riding each other's wave to both record personal best shortcourse times.

"When you're racing someone like Pieter, it's like racing someone like Ian," Hackett said.

"Every race between now and the Olympics counts and if you come up against guys like that, you've got to take the opportunities to race them.

"When I walked back in after the race with Pieter, he said 'that was fun'.

"That's why it's great to race against him. He's a gentleman and a great swimmer and it brings out the best in you."

Van den Hoogenband, who was close to breaking the world 100m record in winning Friday night's final, had no doubts the better swimmer.

"That's what you train for. It was a good race and Grant was too good tonight. Better luck next time," van den Hoogenband said.

Queenslander Stephen Penfold bounced back from his embarrassing lap counting blunder on Friday to finish third behind Hackett and van den Hoogenband in a personal best of 1:45.77.

Penfold is aiming for victory in his pet event on Sunday, the 1500m, in which Hackett won't compete.

German Thomas Rupprath picked up two more victories to add to his 50m backstroke triumph on Friday.

Rupprath won the 50m butterfly in 23.21, before backing up to blitz the 200m individual medley field with a 1:56.41 - nearly four seconds clear of Olympic champion Massimiliano Rosolino of Italy.

Victorian Brooke Hanson was only of only three Australian winners on the 11-race program along with Hackett and Sydney's Elka Graham in the women's 400m freestyle.

Hanson took out the women's 100m individual medley, clocking 1: 01.85 to beat 13-year-old Chinese swimmer Tianyi Zhang (1:02.69).

The three-day World Cup meet concludes Sunday.

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