2004 Olympic Games - Finals Day 8 Aug 21
Aug 21, 2004 - Nikki Dryden
The 2000 champ, Inge de Bruijn (NED) had more to prove than just defending this title; she also wanted gold. After a silver and a bronze in the 100 free and 100 fly, Inge was extremely emotional after winning tonight in 24.58. "It's an amazing feeling," said de Bruijn. "My 8th Olympic medal. A gold on the last day of the program, what a climax." Malia Metella (FRA) won silver in 24.89 wrapping up an excellent week of swimming for the French women who will return home with 5 medals (6 in total). "It's so great," said Metella. "It's a record (the French performance) to break in Beijing. Since the Europeans in Barcelona we knew we could achieve great things."
In for the bronze was Lisbeth Lenton (AUS) in 24.91. For Lenton the medal will certainly help erase the memory of failing to final in the 100 free after entering the meet as the world record holder. "I am so happy," said Lenton. "It was amazing, it is more than I could have hoped for, it's a dream come true for me. I swam my best race, got third, so I couldn't ask for more. It's been a huge roller-coaster ride, the ultimate Olympic experience for me."
As has been the case on many occasions, the men's 1500 free on the last night of the competition, proved to be one of the most exciting of the Games. Grant Hackett (AUS) was presumed untouchable; his best time was over 20 seconds ahead of the world. But tonight, things changed. Hackett had to work extremely hard to defend his title. With 200 to go Larsen Jensen (USA) was within striking distance and David Davies (GBR) was about 2 body-lengths back, but at the 1400 Grant kicked it into high gear coming home in 56.08 to win in a new Olympic record of 14:43.40 to Jensen's 14:45.29 and Davies' 14:45.95.
It was a fantastic race as Jensen and Davies stepped up to the challenge of the Olympic Games by dropping almost 10 seconds from their best times. Grant reacted with a mixture of raw emotion and humour. While the 1500 swimmers rarely get the attention they deserve, Grant decided to copy Gary Hall Jr.'s antics post race by climbing atop the blocks, flexing and throwing pumpers. The crowd responded-when the Aussie anthem played for Hackett, the Aussie crowd sang along for the first time of the Games.
What a race! Natalie Coughlin (USA) led out the back faster than she swam in the individual race, giving the Americans a huge lead-59.68 to Giaan Rooney's (USA) 1:01.18. Amanda Beard (USA) and Leisel Jones (AUS) swam even breaststroke legs, but it was Petria Thomas (AUS) who had the best split. She swam the fastest fly leg of all-time of 56.67 to open a lead over Jenny Thompson (USA) then Jodie Henry (AUS) finished off Kara Lynn Joyce (USA) with a 52.97 giving the Aussies the world record of 3:57.32 to USA's 3:59.12.
The final event of the night would not have the two best male swimmers of the meet: Michael Phelps (USA) and Ian Thorpe (AUS). Both men cheered from the stands, Michael giving up his spot on the relay to his teammate Ian Crocker, while Thorpe was out because the Aussies failed to qualify. Of course, the race was still an incredible end to an incredible Olympic Games. Texas teammates Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, and Ian Crocker led out the 300 for the USA with Jason Lezak on the anchor leg. Peirsol led out in a World record of 53.45, Hansen swam a 59.37 (second fastest of all-time), Crocker swam a 50.28 (fastest split of all-time), and Lezak closed with a 47.58 (5th fastest of all time) to smash the world record with a 3:30.68. They were almost 2 full body-lengths ahead of Germany who finished second with Japan in third.
DAY 8 AUG 22 FINALS MEN 1500 METRES FREESTYLE 1 14:43.40 Hackett Grant,80,AUS 2 14:45.29 Jensen Larsen,85,USA 3 14:45.95 Davies David,85,GBR 4 14:52.48 Prilukov Yuri,84,RUS 5 15:03.69 Gianniotis Spyridon,80,GRE 6 15:09.71 Smith Graeme,76,GBR 7 15:10.21 Coman Dragos,80,ROM 8 15:13.66 Stevens Craig,80,AUS 4X100 MEDLEY RELAY 1 3:30.68 United States,USA 0:53.45 Peirsol Aaron 0:59.37 Hansen Brendan 0:50.28 Crocker Ian 0:47.58 Lezak Jason 2 3:33.62 Germany,GER 0:54.26 Driesen Steffen 1:00.50 Kruppa Jens 0:51.40 Rupprath Thomas 0:47.46 Conrad Lars 3 3:35.22 Japan,JPN 0:54.25 Morita Tomomi 0:59.35 Kitajima Kosuke 0:51.87 Yamamoto Takashi 0:49.75 Okumura Yoshihiro 4 3:35.91 Russia,RUS 0:55.15 Vyatchanin Arkadi 1:01.00 Sludnov Roman 0:51.74 Marchenko Igor 0:48.02 Popov Alexander 5 3:36.57 France,FRA 0:55.74 Dufour Simon 1:00.07 Duboscq Hugues 0:52.22 Esposito Franck 0:48.54 Bousquet Frederick 6 3:36.87 Ukraine,UKR 0:56.19 Illichov Pavlo 1:00.99 Lisogor Oleg 0:50.80 Serdinov Andriy 0:48.89 Yegoshin Yuriy 7 3:37.46 Hungary,HUN 0:54.89 Cseh Laszlo 1:00.25 Bodor Richard 0:53.32 Gaspar Zsolt 0:49.00 Zubor Attila 8 3:37.77 Great Britain,GBR 0:55.69 Tait Gregor 1:00.30 Gibson James 0:52.64 Hickman James 0:49.14 Kidd Matthew WOMEN 50 METRES FREESTYLE 1 24.58 de Bruijn Inge,73,NED 2 24.89 Metella Malia,82,FRA 3 24.91 Lenton Lisbeth,85,AUS 4 24.93 Alshammar Therese,77,SWE 5 25.00 Joyce Kara Lynn,86,USA 6 25.06 Engelsman Michelle,79,AUS 7 25.11 Thompson Jenny,73,USA 8 25.20 Delaroli Flavia,83,BRA 4X100 MEDLEY RELAY 1 3:57.32 Australia,AUS 1:01.18 Rooney Giaan 1:06.50 Jones Leisel 0:56.67 Thomas Petria 0:52.97 Henry Jodie 2 3:59.12 United States,USA 0:59.68 Coughlin Natalie 1:06.32 Beard Amanda 0:58.81 Thompson Jenny 0:54.31 Joyce Kara Lynn 3 4:00.72 Germany,GER 1:00.72 Buschschulte Antje 1:07.08 Poewe Sarah 0:58.54 van Almsick Franziska 0:54.38 Gotz Daniela 4 4:03.35 China,CHN 1:02.00 Chen Xiujun 1:08.82 Luo Xuejuan 0:58.10 Zhou Yafei 0:54.43 Zhu Yingwen 5 4:04.83 Japan,JPN 1:01.05 Nakamura Reiko 1:09.09 Tanaka Masami 0:59.14 Onishi Junko 0:55.55 Nagai Tomoko 6 4:07.36 Netherlands,NED 1:04.83 Luiken Stefanie 1:09.55 Baans Madelon 0:58.85 de Bruijn Inge 0:54.13 Veldhuis Marleen 7 4:07.61 Spain,ESP 1:01.29 Zhivanevskaya Nina 1:10.62 Perez Sara 1:00.74 Pelaez Maria 0:54.96 Rouba Tatiana disq Great Britain,GBR