Leave Hackett to chase history: Fraser - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leave Hackett to chase history: Fraser

By James Dampney 18/12/2006 06:57:46 PM Comments (0)

Australian swimming great Dawn Fraser hopes Ian Thorpe's retirement doesn't shine the spotlight so brightly on Grant Hackett it will distract him from his pursuit of history.

Despite some highly impressive feats of his own, Hackett was often left in the shadows while Thorpe carried the torch for Australian swimming.

Since the Thorpedo decided to end his glittering career, Australian captain Hackett has been left virtually all alone as the male face of the sport in this country.

Hackett has an opportunity to become the first man to win the same swimming event for three consecutive Olympics when he contests the 1500m at Beijing in 2008 and Fraser hopes he is allowed room to focus on the mighty task.

"I think Grant has always been the person behind Thorpe and he wasn't getting the exposure," Fraser said.

"But Grant is an unassuming young man who sort of stays in the background and is a good captain, he helps the rookies coming through and he gets the exposure that he needs.

"I hope he doesn't get a lot more exposure because I don't want it to take his mind off the job he's got to do."

Hackett garnered most of the attention at the world championship trials earlier this month, when he qualified for the 400m, 800m and 1500m for next year's titles in Melbourne.

But he struggled with illness and a shoulder injury and pulled out of the 200m.

Hackett admitted he had his "ups and downs" during the competition as he recorded some slightly disappointing times.

Fraser believes he is still on track to surpass the likes of Kieren Perkins as our greatest ever distance swimmer.

"He could take the record of being the greatest 1500m swimmer in Australia," she said.

"I've never liked comparing swimmers with swimmers, but he is setting a great record for himself to cherish for the rest of his life."

Fraser also expressed her disappointment with the treatment recently handed out to another of Australia's great swimming talents, Libby Lenton.

A storm of controversy erupted over her physique at the trials and Fraser admitted the whole saga had saddened her.

"It does unfortunately come with the territory," she said of the innuendo.

"They work so hard in the off-season to build up the strength in the shoulders and you've got to have very strong shoulders to do any swimming.

"I was sad to hear what was being said, but it's just speculation and I think it's sad that people stoop to that very low level."

Fraser is visiting the Hunter Valley for the Jack Newton Classic charity golf event.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news