BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Other Sports  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
Statistics
US Sport
Horse Racing
Snooker
Sailing
Cycling
Skiing
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Thorpe does just enough
Australia's Ian Thorpe on his way to victory in the 400m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships
Thorpe was below his best but still too good for the rest
Ian Thorpe won gold in the 400 metres freestyle on the opening day of the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Yokohama on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Australian was some way off his world record of three minutes, 40.08 seconds, but still managed to out-perform his rivals.

Thorpe was feeling the effects of a busy summer which included the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where he won six gold medals.

And he insisted afterwards that finishing one-two with Australian team-mate Grant Hackett had been more important than a world record.

"Grant and I just wanted to get Australia off to a good start. I didn't think it was in my best interests to try to do sub-3:40," he said.

Thorpe later anchored Australia to gold in the 4x100 metres freestyle relay.

The winning Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team
Thorpe is congratulated by his team-mates

And the triple Olympic champion stressed that he was putting the team before individual achievements.

He said: "I took a step back in the 400 metres because I wanted to swim a controlled race. My preparation tonight was more for the 4x100 metres."

Australia have now recorded four straight wins over the US in the 4x100 metres freestyle.

Thorpe believes the key to their success is teamwork.

He said: "We might not always be the strongest swimmers but we have this great pride that makes us a very successful team."

Dream finale

Hackett, who gave Thorpe a lead of 0.26 seconds going into the anchor leg of the relay, agreed.

"If you're going to think as an individual, you're going to compete as an individual. Our attitude is to work as a team and to try to gel together 100% of the time," he said.

And Australia's women emulated the men to also take gold in the 4x100 metres freestyle ahead of the US.

Jodie Henry, Alice Mills, Petria Thomas and Sarah Ryan erased the memory of a sixth-place finish in Fukuoka.

"It was so important not to be intimidated by the U.S. team as we have done in the past," said Ryan, who hinted she may retire from swimming after the championships.

"To win this tonight was so sweet, it could be the perfect way to go out."

See also:

24 Aug 02 | Horse Racing
24 Aug 02 | Sailing
24 Aug 02 | Cycling
Links to more Other Sports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Other Sports stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales