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