Atlanta 1996PERKINS IN ATLANTA

Kieren focusesThe eyes of a nation were fixed on Kieren Perkins and Daniel Kowalski for the 1500m final. It was the most watched TV show in Australia in 1996. The majority were predicting a Kowalski gold. Media placings for Kieren ranged from bronze to last. The feelings of the commentators were also with Kowalski, with them saying of him "he is just 15 min away from shining in the spotlight brightly, the spotlight Perkins has held for so long...Perkins was one of the greatest swimmers in the world- before tonight..."

However Perkins was about to prove he was still the greatest swimmer in the world, and also a great champion.

Kieren dived into lane 8 (the worst competitor's lane) and took the lead- the way he had won many races in the past. He finished the first hundred in 55.30. Perkins was 1½ lengths clear of Kowalski when they turned for 200. Kowalski began to think less about chasing Kieren and more about racing 3rd placed Graeme Smith.

By 500m, Perkins was 2 lengths in front, with Kowalski in clear 2nd place. By 700m, he was 3 lengths in front of Kowalski. At the 800m mark- the place where he faded badly in the heats- Kieren went through in 7:53.85, 4½ seconds in front of Kowalski, and showed no signs of slowing down.

At 1000m, Kieren had a five length lead, with 3rd placed Smith edging to within a length of Kowalski. By 1100m Kieren's gold was obvious but Kowalski's silver wasn't as he was overtaken by Graeme Smith. At 1300m Kieren was 7 lengths clear, a distance he maintained for the rest of the race.

Kieren won in 14:56.40- 6 seconds and 7 lengths ahead of Kowalski, who just touched out Smith for the silver.

How the race was split:

 

Victorious Kieren Perkins

         Perkins Kowalski Smith Brembilla

100     55.30     55.73      57.23    59.54

200     1:53.92  1:55.14   1:57.38  2:00.09

300     2:53.41  2:55.34   2:57.75  3:00.66

400     3:53.28  3:55.76   3:58.34  4:01.47

500     4:53.45  4:56.34   4:58.85  5:02.54

600     5:53.47  5:57.04   5:59.43  6:03.44

700     6:53.62  6:57.62   7:00.04  7:04.38

800     7:53.85  7:58.31   8:00.82  8:05.43

900     8:53.82  8:59.96   9:01.46  9:05.95

1000   9:54.44 10:01.93 10:02.24 10:06.57

1100 10:54.86 11:03.43 11:03.00 11:07.23

1200 11:55.51 12:04.22 12:03.69 12:07.71

1300 12:56.40 13:05.24 13:04.71 13:08.40

1400 13:57.52 14:06.00 14:05.48 14:08.83

1500 14:56.40 15:02.43 15:02.48 15:08.58

 

 

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