posted on Aug, 14 2004 @ 05:51 AM
Defending champion and world record holder Ian Thorpe won his heat to reach the 400m freestyle swimming final. The Australian did not push himself too
hard as he took his heat in a time of three minutes and 46.55 seconds.
Fellow Australian Grant Hackett won his heat in three minutes 46.36 seconds - the fastest time of the qualifiers. But Britain's Adam Faulkner and
Graeme Smith failed to qualify after finishing only seventh and eighth in their heats in 3:51.97 and 3:52.41 respectively.
There was no repeat of the embarrassing false start that almost cost Thorpe the chance to defend his 400 freestyle title.
Thorpe was disqualified at the Australian trials when he tumbled off the blocks before the gun had sounded and was only allowed to swim the event in
Athens after his team-mate Craig Stevens surrendered his spot.
The 21-year-old made a cautious start to his heat, taking more than a second to leave his blocks, but soon took the lead and held it to the end.
"I was trying to make sure I was last off the blocks so I'll be first off tonight," said Thorpe.