The Sydney Morning Herald, April 4 1992

Perkins smashes world 400m record

Kieren Perkins... don't think it's here at Olympic Trials thoughKieren Perkins smashed the world record for the 400m freestyle last night, but his goal for the Barcelona Olympics is still the 1500m.

His coach, John Carew, leapt with joy and Perkins punched the air as the time flashed up on the scoreboard to give the 18-year-old his 3rd world record in 7 months.

In an evenly timed swim Perkins - who holds the 800 and 1500m freestyle world records - touched in 3:46.47, breaking the world record set by Uwe Dassler in 1988 by ½ a second.

At every split Perkins was ahead of world record pace.

"I just can't believe it. I was actually worried going into the race and thought it would be unpredictable," a jubilant Perkins said.

"I didn't expect such a fast time. I thought I'd do around 3:48 but with 75m to go I heard the crowd yelling and I could see some programs being waved. I just went for it."

Carew told Perkins to go for the record after his rubdown just 10min before the start of the race.

"He said to me 'Are we just going to race or are we going for the record?'" said Carew. "And I said to him, 'We aren't just going to race.'"

He added "He's a great swimmer and a great competitor, you don't get too many like him."

"He hadn't trained for it, it just shows he will give 400m a shock when he settles down and doesn't want to do the work for the 1500m. This will show his times for the 1500, he has that speed."

Perkins established a big gap over the first 10m and at every turn extended his lead.

Perkins confirmed he would concentrate on the 1500m freestyle at the Olympics.


The Sydney Morning Herald, April 5 1992

A pizza cake for Perkins

The great rivalry between Kieren Perkins and Glen Houseman will continue today in the water at the AIS pool, but not before it came together on dry land yesterday.

Houseman, upset at missing 400m Olympic selection with his 3rd place behind Perkins' world record, just shook his head when asked about his rival.

"I just wish I knew what he was doing. I mean for the 400 I rested up all day, did everything right, while he was out on the town with his girlfriend, eating pizzas and drinking coke."

"I can't understand it."

Perkins, who qualified 2nd fastest in the 1500m heats behind Houseman, was rejoicing in the euphoria that comes with being a superstar.

"I was just floating along there. The way I felt though made me give thought to going for the record here too, but we will wait and see."

On the score of preparation, he threw back his head and laughed.

"I'll rest up a little more for this but I was wondering who spread the pizza rumour. But it was Glen hey! That's interesting!" Perkins admitted he did take a long stroll through Canberra's Belconnen Mall at lunch time. "But it was all day..."

As Houseman was getting out of the water after his 1500m heat, Perkins congratulated him on his swim of 15:31.66 - 35 sec outside Housman's best.

Meanwhile, 1980 Olympic gold medallist Neil Brooks said of Perkins, "After the Olympics they will mention his name in the same breath as Mark Spitz and Dawn Fraser, he's that good."

 

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