Hackett breaks own world short-course 800m record

MELBOURNE: Australian Grant Hackett broke his own short-course 800m freestyle world record in 7:23.42 here yesterday.

Hackett, 28, preparing for a record third 1,500m freestyle gold medal at next month’s Beijing Olympics, shaved 1.86 seconds off his 2001 world mark of 7:25.28. He also holds the world short-course records in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle along with the 800m and 1,500m freestyle long-course world records.

Hackett used the weekend’s short-course event as a final hit-out at home before he flew out to Singapore late yesterday to continue his preparations for the Games.

The Australian swim team captain will link up with the rest of the national team next weekend in Kuala Lumpur ahead of the Beijing Games.

Meanwhile, Britta Steffen of Germany lowered her own European women’s 100m freestyle record on Saturday at the Magdeburg International in Germany.

The four-time European champion finished in 53.05, breaking her own record set on April 22 at the German Championships by 0.15 seconds. – Agencies