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Australia Short Course Champs

Oct 12, 2000

Press Release
Olympic 1500 metre freestyle gold medallist Grant Hackett today surprised even himself when he clocked the fastest qualifying time for the final of the 200 metres freestyle at the 2000 Telstra Australian Short Course Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Hackett, who admitted to swimming less than two-kilometres in training since his gold medal swim in Sydney on September 23, clocked a time of 1 minute 47.22 seconds to comfortably win his heat with the second fastest qualifier, his Olympic and Miami team mate, Daniel Kowalski, who won his heat in 1:48.08.

The clash between the pair will be the major highlight on the first night of finals at an event which has attracted entries from 36 members of the Australian Olympic team.

Tonight will also see triple Sydney Olympic medallist Matt Welsh in action in the semi-finals of the 50 metres backstroke and Olympic silver medallist Leisel Jones up against fastest qualifiers Brooke Hanson and Rebecca Brown in the 50m breaststroke, as well as Lori Munz in the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle with Olympians Elka Graham and Kirsten Thomson.

Michael Klim withdrew from the 100 metres butterfly heats with a back injury while Olympic bronze medallist Geoff Huegill had a reprieve, when two withdrawals saw him seeded into the semi-finals.