According to Todd Balym of the Herald Sun, 34-year old Grant Hackett is planning a return to competitive swimming 8 months after leaving a rehab facility for a Stilnox addiction.
In an interview, Hackett tells the Herald Sun that he re-entered the ASADA drug testing pool in December, meaning that he is able to compete at the Australian World Championship Trials in April.
“I probably haven’t felt this good since 2004,” Hackett said. “This year I’ve just really got my passion back for it. I do set myself little goals and little times and I’m trying to improve, that’s just the sort of person I am.
Hackett is one of the greatest distance swimmers in the history of swimming, and has a total of 17 World Championships and 7 Olympic medals on his resume. He’s still the World Record holder in the 800 and 1500 freestyles in short course meters as well, including 13 years later in the men’s 1500.
While Hackett is unlikely to regain that same level of form (and he said he has no “fantasy” about that), at 35 years old, he’s not as old as his resume might seem, given that he swam his first World Championship meet in 1997 (where he already won gold in two events at just 17-years old.
Hackett’s last major racing was done at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, where he won individual silver in the 1500 free and a relay bronze in the 800 free relay.