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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6 years ago

Also…why so early for the Aussie Trials? April? I understand you get a nice block of time to ramp back up the training and then taper. But top swimmers these days seem poised to swim fast any time (maybe USRPT + short rest keeps ’em perpetually fast???). Plus, who the top swimmers are could readjust within those four months.

6 years ago

Anyone know a good place to find the top 10, 20, etc swims of all time for an event? I’m not talking about swimmer rankings, where each swimmer appears once on the list. But rather, the top swims, in which a swimmer might appear multiple times in the list (like the 1500m free list in this article).

6 years ago

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

6 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
6 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
6 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.

BayArea Swim
6 years ago

In before Bobo exclaims,

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

6 years ago

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

Swimmer A
6 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

6 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

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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