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Confident Hackett ready to claim historic third Olympic gold

A confident Grant Hackett Grant George Hackett (born May 9, 1980) is an Australian swimmer who won the men's 1500 metres freestyle race at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  said Tuesday he is swimming faster than when he won the 1500m gold at Sydney and Athens, and is mentally and physically ready to claim an unprecedented third in Beijing.

No man has ever won three consecutive Olympic titles over the gruelling gru·el·ing also gru·el·ling  
Physically or mentally demanding to the point of exhaustion: a grueling campaign.

 distance race in the 104 years it has been in competition, but the 28-year-old is pumped up to rewrite re·write  
v. re·wrote , re·writ·ten , re·writ·ing, re·writes
1. To write again, especially in a different or improved form; revise.


"I think I'm swimming faster than I was in Sydney and Athens and I've just got to get up and do it," said the Australian Australian

pertaining to or originating in Australia.

Australian bat lyssavirus disease
see Australian bat lyssavirus disease.

Australian cattle dog
a medium-sized, compact working dog used for control of cattle.
 in his final media comments ahead of his day of destiny in China.

"To win I'm going to need to swim faster than those times, because the standard and the depth of the other swimmers has picked up a lot.

"I'm probably more relaxed going into Beijing than I was in Sydney or Athens," he added.

"I can't control how fast others can swim, but I can control how I go and I've done that to the best of my abilities. Physically, I feel like I've done everything."

Hackett, sporting a cut on his nose which he said happened when he scratched himself in his sleep, has had a catalogue of illnesses during his tapering Tapering
Gradually reducing the amount of a drug when stopping it abruptly would cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Mentioned in: Narcotics

 process at major meets and is taking no chances before next month's Games.

He revealed this month that he wears a mask over his face when he flies, shuns public areas as much as possible and avoids touching handrails and wash basins unnecessarily to keep himself free from germs.

"Even if I get sick now I know I've done the work, and everything now is up to chance," he said when asked if he was concerned about the smog in Beijing.

"You just try to block it out. I feel like I'm mentally ready to deal with any situation."

Hackett has held the world record of 14min 34.56sec since July 2001 and believes he is still capable of bettering the mark, but fears the quality of competition in Beijing could take the edge off a fast final.

"It's hard to say. Some days yes and some days no," he said on whether he could set a new world mark.

"It's one of those things where heat times will be so fast in Beijing it may take an edge off the final.

"People will need to swim their best just to get in the final. But that's what I have been focusing on -- swimming two 1500s in a row."

Hackett, who will also swim the 400m freestyle The code name for the MCE version of Windows. See Media Center Edition. , added that winning the 1500m in China "would be the biggest moment of my career."

He leads a team of Australian swimmers who boast six world records between them.

Head coach Alan Thompson Alan Thompson can refer to
  • Alan Thompson (canoeist) - New Zealand Olympic Games canoeing double gold medallist at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • Alan Thompson (footballer) - a footballer, currently playing for Leeds United
 said Hackett seemed to have a "steely steel·y  
adj. steel·i·er, steel·i·est
1. Made of steel.

2. Resembling steel, as in color or hardness: steely eyes.
 determination" about him.

"He's pretty happy, but he's taking it one step at a time. He needs to rest well, stay healthy and uninjured. But he looks very good and he has a steely determination."

Thompson added that the rest of the team were also very capable of making the podium podium

In architecture, a pedestal on a large scale. It may be any of various elements that form the base of a structure, such as the platform forming the floor and substructure of a Classical temple, a low wall supporting columns, or the structurally or decoratively
, but refused to make predictions.

"We don't make medal targets. We have some idea of what our team goals are but I am quite confident we have a good team here and I think we'll do pretty well."
Copyright 2008 AFP American Edition
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Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Jul 29, 2008
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