1994 Commonwealth Games and World Championships

 Kieren on the podium with his 1500 gold

1500m Freestyle MEN

Event N. 29

08/24/94

19:25

Current records:

WR 14:43.48

KIEREN PERKINS

AUS

BARCELONA 1992

GR 14:55.25

GLEN HOUSMAN

AUS

AUCKLAND 1990

POS. NAME

CTY

LANE

 

1 PERKINS, Kieren

AUS

4

14:41.66 NWR

splits: 100 - 54.81 - 200 - 1:52.91 - 300 - 2:51.48 - 400 - 3:50.37 - 500 - 4:49.04 - 600 - 5:48.51 - 700 - 6:47.72 - 800 - 7:46.00(WR) - 900 - 8:45.28 - 1000 - 9:44.94 - 1100 - 10:44.63 - 1200 - 11:44.50 - 1300 - 12:44.70 - 1400 - 13:44.44

2 KOWALSKI, Daniel

AUS

3

14:53.61

splits: 100 - 56.51 - 200 - 1:55.55 - 300 - 2:54.58 - 400 - 3:54.02 - 500 - 4:53.81 - 600 - 5:53.92 - 700 - 6:54.15 - 800 - 7:54.20 - 900 - 8:54.30 - 1000 - 9:54.33 - 1100 - 10:54.53 - 1200 - 11:54.93 - 1300 - 12:55.37 - 1400 - 13:55.53

3 HOUSMAN, Glen

AUS

5

15:02.59

World Champion Kieren Perkins after shattering the 400m world record

400m freestyle

1. Kieren Perkins, AUS, 3:43.80 (WR)

SPLITS: 53.96 - 1:51.11 - 2:48.15 - 3:43.80

2. Antti Kasvio, FIN, 3:48.55

3. Danyon Loader, NZL, 3:48.62
 

1500m freestyle

1. Kieren Perkins, AUS, 14:50.52

2. Daniel Kowalski, AUS, 14:53.42

3. Steffen Zesner, GER, 15:09.20

Kieren waited until everyone else finally finished, then got out to the standing ovations and guards of honour befitting a swimming legend. However first he sheepishly made his way over to face the wrath of his coach.

"What did you do that for?" asked his coach, to which Kieren replied "I felt good, so I broke the 1500 record as well." Kieren's coach could not exactly make him write out 'I must not break world records' 1500 times, so it was left at that :) That night, Kieren was so excited he could not sleep.

Having just broken 2 world records in about 7 minutes, Kieren left the Commonwealth Games after winning every race he'd entered- in a new World or Games record- and becoming the only person to win the 200-400-1500 triple at one Commonwealth Games, and turned his attention to the World Championships in Rome 2 weeks later.

The original plan had been for Kieren to break the 1500m world record in Rome in a time of about 14:38. However, since he'd broken the world record at the Commonwealth Games, it took the team physiotherapist 1 week to get Kieren back in shape, and his coach wasn't able to give him enough work before the World Championships.

Kieren wasn't finished with breaking world records yet. The 400m world record had been taken from him by Evgeny Sadovyi at the 1992 Olympics, and Kieren was a man on a mission to get it back.

He exploded into the lead, and by 100m was a bodylength in front. By 200m, the margin was 2 bodylengths. Daniel Kowalski, looking up at Kieren way ahead, feared he was swimming badly until he looked back and saw the other 6 finalists were all in a line with him.

Kieren won by 5 seconds in a time of 3:43.80, 1.2 seconds faster than the old world record. He won by the largest margin in world championships history.

Even Kieren was taken aback, gasping "I was in awe of myself!"

Onlookers were amazed. Kieren had transformed the somewhat slow 400m event into a cruel sprint - and this from a 1500m swimmer! Who knows what he might have done to it if he had not trained specifically for the 1500m instead.

Perkins had obliterated the fastest 400m field ever assembled, and as 4th-placed Daniel Kowalski later said "But he also demoralised the whole field, and it was in a world championships final."

By now Kieren was tired out and the plan of a 14:30's swim abandoned. He got sick, but nothing was going to deny him 1500m world championships gold.

Kieren won gold again in 14:50.52, a championship record and faster than anyone else had ever gone.
 

This made him the first swimmer in history to hold Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific titles simultaneously for the same event. In addition he held the world record, and Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific championship records over the distance.

Not surprisingly, Kieren Perkins won the FINA Prize for exceptional achievements for 1994, and was the US Swimming World Swimmer of the Year.

There is no doubt that Kieren was capable of bettering his formidable world records. Not only did he break the 1500m exhausted after breaking the 800m world record, but also broke it 2 weeks before his taper scheduled.                              

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