The Courier Mail, February 3, 1992

World Record to Perkins

SuperstarCANBERRA: Australia's king of the pool Kieren Perkins set Canberra alight yesterday with a world record 1500m effort at the Australian Grand Prix shortcourse meeting.

The 18-year-old sizzled from the 1st 50m, and 60 laps later erased the name of the great Soviet swimmer Vladimir Salnikov from the record books.

Perkins clocked 14:32.40 - a staggering 5.20 seconds off the standard set by Salnikov in 1982.

At the 400m mark yesterday Perkins was on 3:45.48, which is the 2nd fastest time in the world this year for that distance over shortcourse.

After 800m - for which he holds the world long course record - Perkins' split was 7:39.49, which places him number 1 in the world.

For much of the early stages of the race he was up to 10 seconds inside world record pace.

Perkins decided to set himself for the record only 10min before the race.

"I discussed it with my coach John Carew. I told him I felt good enough to have a crack at Salnikov's time," he said. "I felt tremendous in the early stages and it certainly has given me a psycological advantage over my opposition."

"I just hope the news goes to Europe so Jorg Hoffmann gets to read about it."

"The Olympic 1500m final will produce one of the greatest swims of all time and the winner will know he's been in a race."

Such was Perkins' power yesterday he lapped all of his opposition, which included Daniel Kowalski in 15:07.12 for 2nd and Glen Houseman (15:11.17).

Perkins later that night won the 200m freestyle in a creditable 1:49.87 which was only fractionally faster than his 1500m split 1:50.20.