Australian distance swimming great, Grant Hackett, has completed his first official swim since coming out of retirement late last year. Today, the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist began his competitive swimming return at the Medal Shots Queensland Long Course Qualifying meet at the Brisbane Aquatic Center.
Hackett kicked off his three-event meet program with a solid time of 3:55.68 in the Men’s Open 400m freestyle to win the event. Hackett’s clocking is a very respectable outing for the 34-year-old, whose time now positions him as 42nd in the world rankings. Also in the field in the race were George O’Brien (3:57.57), Yasunari Hirai (4:00.05) and Cameron McEvoy (4:01.45). Training partner Thomas Fraser-Holmes was on the psych sheet, but did not swim the event. Below are the splits for Hackett’s 400m swim (timed final):
r:+0.70 26.30 55.70 (29.40)
1:25.76 (30.06) 1:56.22 (30.46)
2:26.58 (30.36) 2:56.83 (30.25)
3:26.51 (29.68) 3:55.68 (29.17)
Prior to the meet, Hackett’s coach, Denis Cotterell, told The Courier Mail that Hackett “might ignore the pain in a race or be a little more human and thing it’s hurting and not be able to respond.” He continued, “Whatever time he does it will be very respectable for his age and especially the time frame he has been training.”
The 3:55.68 time clears the 2015 Australian Swimming Championships qualifying time of 4:07.00, as earning the necessary cuts were acknowledged as the purpose for selecting this particular meet in which to compete. Hackett will take on the 200m freestyle later this afternoon (local time) before tackling the 100m freestyle tomorrow.