In a stunning return to the pool that is set to completely surpass the efforts of Olympic great Ian Thorpe in 2012, Hackett is swimming as fast as Thorpe did three years ago after less than half of the time back in full training.
Just six months into his comeback Hackett has already posted multiple 200m freestyle time trials in training of one minute 50 seconds, merely a fingertip off Thorpe’s 1:49.91 effort when 12th at the 2012 Olympic trials in Adelaide.
Today Hackett will contest his first official race since the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he does a qualifying meet at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre racing the 400m and 200m freestyle.
“I’ve been getting up and doing that sort of time (1:50) since December actually,” Hackett said.
“I never thought I’d get to that time at this sort of stage, particularly in full training.”
That time of 1:47 remains Hackett’s goal. Swim that fast next month at the world titles selection trials in Sydney and he could find himself on the plane to Kazan.
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