Sun Doesn't Quite Set On Hackett High
Nov 18, 2010 - Craig Lord
Sun Yang (CHN) has taken a sledgehammer to his own personal standards all week at the Asian Games, medalling a touch away from Park Tae-hwan (KOR) in the 200m and 400m free, but over 30 laps he almost took a sledgehammer to the only surviving men's world record from pre-shiny suit times.
Grant Hackett (AUS) remains king of the 1,500m clock, on 14:34.56. The closest to him had been a shiny suited 14:37.28 by US-based Tunisian Oussama Mellouli, the man who in Beijing, by 0.69sec, prevented Hackett from becoming the first man in swimming history to win the same Olympic crown at three Games.
Now the closest to Hackett is Sun - on 14:35.43, an Asian record. And his last 100m: 54.40! Sun is the only swimmer in 2010 to swim faster in an event than the best effort in 2009.
The splits compared:
Hackett: 54.19; 1:52.45; 2:51.29; 3:50.18; 4:48.82; 5:47.45; 6:45.96; 7:44.47; 8:43.05; 9:41.78; 10:40.56; 11:39.51; 12:38.51; 13:37.89; 14:34.56 (56.67)
Sun: 56.38; 1:55.54; 2:54.20; 3:52.74; 4:51.30; 5:49.92; 6:48.39; 7:47.11; 8:46.09; 9:44.92; 10:44.03; 11:43.00; 12:41.98; 13:41.03; 14:35.43 (54.40).
The best homecoming splits in history among big medallists in the Perkins/Hackett era:
In Guangzhou today, Park was left behind at the 100m mark and swam on knowing that the man ahead was swimming in a different pool. The Korean took silver in 15:01.72, the bronze going to the champion's teammate Zhang Lin, on 15:22.03. Zhang had held the Asian record at 14:45.84 since a home Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
The end of that blistering race mirrored a pattern among many of the outstanding Chinese swims at the Asian Games: the protagonist appears to have much more left in the tank at the end of phenomenal races than we have been used to seeing.
Reports and results on the rest of the action on the final day of racing at the Asian Games.