Thorpe skips Hackett showdown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpe skips Hackett showdown

By Tom Wald and Janelle Miles 30/06/2004 06:44:11 PM Comments (0)

Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett will not clash in the 400m freestyle until the Olympics following Thorpe's decision to skip the event next week in Brisbane.

It means the world's two best 400m swimmers will go into their eagerly-awaited Athens showdown on August 14 having not faced each other in the event for more than a year.

The last time they met, Olympic champion and world record holder Thorpe accounted for Hackett as the pair went 1-2 at the 2003 world titles in Barcelona.

Thorpe's camp does not want him swimming too many events at the pair of grand prix meets in Brisbane next week, just over a month out from the Games.

"They are going to race it at Athens, and I think that is probably the most important aspect, that we get to see both of the boys stand up and swim really well then," Thorpe's coach Tracey Menzies said.

"It is really important you do not do too much leading into this preparation.

"They have to stand up on the 14th of August and do themselves and everyone else proud, and that is when I want to see them swim really quick."

It will be the third time that Hackett and Thorpe have managed to avoid each other in the 400m this year.

Thorpe has not swum the race in Australia since he was sensationally disqualified at the Olympic trials in Sydney in late March.

He will contest the 400m at the Games after he was controversially given the Olympic berth vacated by teammate Craig Stevens.

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