While this race took place in March this year, with the Beijing Olympics fast approaching it is a good idea to look at the swimming of some of the people who are likely to dominate certain events there. Besides, in this 400m event, the photography is good enabling viewers to observe Grant Hackett's swimming technique. In particular, watch his hands, especially from the time they enter the water to when he takes the catch.
Grant Hackett was born in 1980 and won the 1,500 meters freestyle event at both the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Olympics, and has a very good chance of winning gold again in Beijing at that distance. He is no doubt the best in the world at this distance and has been for probably a decade. He is one of the fastest in the 400 meters, and in 2001 covered the distance in 3m 42.51s, and time that only Ian Thorpe (who is now "retired" from competitive swimming) has bested. Hackett is 6 ft 5 in tall and weighs just under 200 lbs. So the bigger people amongst us can take heart. Not that this matters so much. Libby Trickett of Australia who holds the 50m and 100m world rccords is relatively short in stature compared to the ladies she raced against.
As to where I am at at present, the pool is more crowded with the summer vacation upon us, and parents bringing their children to the pool, as well as older children coming by themselves. Yesterday I covered 3,850 meters in all in what can be described as a "sluggish" workout. Today I fared a little better, again covering 3,850 meters in all, with 3,000 m in an hour exactly (despite some lane congestion), and races against my friend of 100 meters in 1m 27s and 50 meters in 40s. Of course, these times are very slow compared to those of the best, but at least we can learn from the best and get better. A lot of it comes down to training. We are all human and are each gifted physically in various ways, and so if someone else can do it, then we can certainly improve on our own times so far. At the end of training today, my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Even holding the handlebars of the bike kind of required a lot of effort. Hopefully, after recovery I will be a little stronger.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Hackett's 400m Freestyle at the Australian Olympic Trials