Horton Becomes 2nd-Fastest Australian 1500 Freestyler Of All Time


After attacking his 1500m freestyle prelim swim earlier at the 2016 Australian Championships, the meet which doubles as the nation’s Olympic Trials, 19-year-old Mack Horton threw down a downright magical swim during tonight’s finals.

Entering the meet, Horton’s lifetime best in the 1500m freestyle was the 14:44..09 he registered at this same meet last year to claim an Australian National Title at the age of just 18. This year, however, Horton raised the stakes big-time, scoring a new career-best of 14:39.54, a new All-Comers Record (fastest on Australian soil) for the teenager.

Horton’s 14:39.54 mark destroys the Aussie Olympic-qualifying standard of 14:57.82 and is .13 of a second ahead of Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri‘s gold medal-winning time of 14:39.67 from Kazan. Horton’s outing tonight now positions him atop the 1500m freestyle world rankings, with Paltrinieri sitting in the 2nd-fastest position, setting up a potentially intense show-down in Rio.

2015-2016 LCM Men 1500 Free

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In a country claiming such legends as Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins in its past, the fact that Horton just moved up to become the second-fastest performer in the country’s history is saying a lot about this young talent.

Top 6 Australian men’s 1500m performers of all-time

  1. Grant Hackett, 14:34.56 (2001)
  2. Mack Horton, 14:39.54 (2016)
  3. Kieren Perkins, 14:41.66 (1994)
  4. Jack McLoughlin, 1448.60 (2016)
  5. Jordan Harrison, 14:51.02 (2013)
  6. Craig Stevens, 14:53.19 (2008)

Note: Jack McLoughlin swam 14:48.60 to place 2nd behind Mack, which also moves him into Australia’s top 5 of all-time.

On the global scale, Horton’s time tonight now registers as the 8th-fastest performance in history, and the fastest since the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Top 10 men’s 1500m performances of all time:

  1. Sun Yang, 14:31.02 (2012)
  2. Sun Yang, 14:34.14 (2011)
  3. Grant Hackett, 14.34.56 (2001)
  4. Sun Yang, 14:35.43 (2010)
  5. Ous Mellouli, 14:37.28 (2009)
  6. Ous Mellouli, 14.38.01 (2009)
  7. Grant Hackett, 14:38.02 (2008)
  8. Mack Horton, 14:39.54 (2016)
  9. Ryan Cochrane, 14:39.63 (2012)
  10. Gregorio Paltrinieri, 14:39.67 (2015)

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5 years ago

Also, it’s noteworthy to mention that Mack was under world record pace for the first 500m or so (can’t exactly remember–after the first 200 the 1500 just becomes a blur to me) and was 4/5 seconds ahead of pace according to his coach.

Captain Ahab
5 years ago

Wow, so far I only see the U.S. men medaling in 5 events in Rio.

ct swim fan
Reply to  Captain Ahab
5 years ago

Captain Ahab, I think it’s a bit too early to be saying something like that. Why not wait at least until the U.S. trials to say something like that. The times you’re comparing pretty much count everyone’s Olympic Trials times except the U.S.’s. Things should be a bit clearer in early July.

Reply to  ct swim fan
5 years ago

Yes sadly you’re correct. We’ll all have to wait till the USA has it’s trials. But the rest of us can always hope the US has a really bad time swimming at the games at Rio!

Reply to  Daz
5 years ago

Always interesting when someone is hoping Olympic athletes have “a really bad time” doing something they’ve aimed for for years.

Aussie Oy
Reply to  JP
5 years ago

ThomasLurzFan has been doing it in the past week during Aussies trials. He’s been hoping Aussies swimmers to swim badly in Rio.

Weird, right?

Reply to  Captain Ahab
5 years ago

This is absurd. The US mens team will be strong this year, with medal contenders in every single event. I predict medals in 9/13 individual and 3/3 relays (17/17 top 5). Gold tally might be low though.

5 years ago

I think you meant to say “the fact that Horton just moved just moved up to the nation’s 2nd-swiftest performance ever” and I’m fairly sure that Kieren Perkins’ best was more like 14:41.66.

Swimmer A
5 years ago

I think Jaeger can still medal in the 1500, but it’s gonna take something special. This is going to be one of the toughest events in Rio. Horton Paltrinieri Yang Jaeger Cochran, it’s gonna be big

5 years ago

Don’t forget about Jack McLoughlin on that all time Aussie list… Dude had a great swim!

BayArea Swim
5 years ago

In before Bobo exclaims,

“Yes it’s a fast swim, but can Horton do it when it matters, in Rio?!”

5 years ago

Of course he can. Last year was an anomaly, the poor guy had a viral infection. It happens to the best of them, and it doesn’t make you a choker. It would be great to see Horton and Patrinieri beat Sun. The juice merchants don’t even deserve to be in the pool.

Reply to  Billabong
5 years ago

Yet, despite that illness, he was somehow able to get bronze in the 800free. How then do you explain that if he was so debilitated ?
Whether you like it or not, it is a very valid question.

What WAS a very positive sign at this meet was that he “hit” the 1500 heats hard as if to replicate what he will need to do in Rio. You just can’t play games in heats at major international events; something too many AUS swimmers and coaches/enablers continually ignore.

Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

If you look at his time in the 800 it was a significantly below what would have been expected.

He went i believe 7:44. 2 years prior at junior worlds leading into Kazan I believe he was slated to swim significantly faster.

Times are probably the best judge of performance and based on that i feel he was below what was expected as well it was merely in that 800 the field was significantly weaker than the 4 & 15.

5 years ago

JACK MCLOUGHLIN AUS 14.48.60 from the trials this week is missing from the Aussie top 5

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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