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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4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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.

4 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.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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