Kieren breaking the 1500m recordThe Courier Mail, April 6 1992

Kieren beats world again

By Wayne Smith

At last, the world record which has haunted and eluded Kieren Perkins is his - the 1500m freestyle.

His time, 14:48.40, cut 1.96 seconds off the old world record, the equivilent of 2 bodylengths.

It was his 2nd world record in 48 hours at the Olympic selection trials. He smashed the 400m freestyle world record on Friday night.

Glen Houseman came 2nd in the 1500m - 40m behind Perkins - with a time (15:18.71) which easily qualified him for automatic Olympic selection.

"I'm not that happy with the time," Perkins said. "I could have gone faster if I had not taken it out so hard."

There was obsession in Perkins' eyes last night as he set off in pursuit of the world record.

The fact that the 14:50.36 record stood to the credit of his arch rival,Jorg Hoffmann, served only to spur him on.

From the moment he turned through the first 100m in 54.99 sec - 2.72 sec ahead of the pace set by Hoffmann when he won the gold medal at the 1991 world championships in Perth last year - it was obvious Perkins was intent on obliterating the German's record.

It was Perkins' 5th world record in 7 months.

He now holds the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle world records - he is the first Australian to do so at any one time since Tracey Wickham in 1978 and the first Australian man since John Konrads in 1960.

Only 4 other Australians have held the 1500m world record - Boy Charlton, Murray Rose, John Konrads and Steve Holland.

Houseman, who had appeared set to go under the record with Perkins, said he had been intimidated by his fellow Queenslander's early speed.

Perkins' coach and mentor, John Carew, predicted the history making 18-year-old would go at least 5 seconds faster in the event at the Barcelona Olympics.

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