Hackett wins 400m freestyle at Australian swim trials

Updated: December 3, 2006, 9:39 AM ET
Associated Press

BRISBANE, Australia -- Grant Hackett won the 400-meter freestyle event Sunday at the Australian swim trials, which is missing its usual main attraction: the now-retired Ian Thorpe.

Thorpe retired nearly two weeks ago at the age of 24, all but handing Australian dominance of the race over to Hackett, the Olympic and world record holder in the 1,500 meters.

Hackett, competing at the Chandler Aquatic Centre for the first time since shoulder surgery, finished in 3 minutes, 46 seconds, six seconds off Thorpe's world record.

"I look at that as a pretty slow time for myself, so I will be hoping to cut that down by a few seconds before [the] worlds," Hackett said. Australia will host the world championships at Melbourne in March.

In the women's 100-meter butterfly, world champion Jess Schipper, who finished in 58.20 seconds, led qualifying for Monday's final.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press