Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metre freestyle
|Men's 400 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad
|Venue||Sydney International Aquatic Centre|
|Date||September 16, 2000 (heats & final)|
|Competitors||46 from 40 nations|
|Winning time||3:40.59 WR|
At only 17 years of age, Australia's overwhelming favorite Ian Thorpe, dubbed by his fans as the "Thorpedo", made his Olympic debut by claiming the first gold medal for the host nation at these Games. Cheered by a massive home crowd and rocketed to the chants of "Thorpie" by his swimming fans, Thorpe maintained a strong lead from start to finish before hitting the wall first in a new world record of 3:40.59.
Massimiliano Rosolino, born with an Australian heritage, earned a silver medal for Italy in a European record of 3:43.40, finishing just three body lengths of a pool behind Thorpe. Meanwhile, U.S. swimmer Klete Keller stormed home from last place in the 200 m lap to wrest a bronze in 3:47.00, an American record, edging out Rosolino's teammate Emiliano Brembilla (3:47.01) by a hundredth of a second (0.01).
Romania's Dragoș Coman finished fifth with a national record of 3:47.38, and was followed in the sixth spot by another U.S. swimmer Chad Carvin in 3:47.58. Aussie Grant Hackett (3:48.22) and South Africa's Ryk Neethling (3:48.52) rounded out the finale within three-tenths of a second (0.30) apart.
Acknowledging a massive roar of the home crowd, Thorpe also cracked Yevgeny Sadovyi's 1992 Olympic record by 0.35 seconds to lead the final of six heats, and pick up a top-seeded time of 3:44.65 in the morning prelims.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Ian Thorpe (AUS)||3:41.33||Sydney, Australia||13 May 2000|
|Olympic record||Yevgeny Sadovyi (EUN)||3:45.00||Barcelona, Spain||29 July 1992|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|16 September||Heat 6||Ian Thorpe||Australia||3:44.65||OR|
|16 September||Final||Ian Thorpe||Australia||3:40.59||WR|
|7||Klete Keller||United States||3:47.00||AM|
|6||2||Chad Carvin||United States||3:47.58|
|8||3||Ryk Neethling||South Africa||3:48.52|
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- Morrissey, Rick (16 September 2000). "Spitz's Remarks Not Golden". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Sydney 2000: Swimming – Men's 400m Freestyle Heats" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. pp. 135–136. Retrieved 28 May 2013.