Hackett qualifies for world titles after 6-year retirement
SYDNEY (AP) Two-time Olympic 1,500-meter gold medalist Grant Hackett qualified for a relay berth at this year's world swimming championships in Kazan, Russia, after finishing fourth in the 200-meter freestyle at the Australian titles on Sunday - six years after he retired from the sport.
The 34-year-old Hackett, the former world record holder who won 1,500 gold at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, returned to training six months ago.
He needed a top-six finish in the 200 final to secure a relay berth for the July world championships. He said ahead of the Australian titles he didn't expect to make the team.
''If you had asked me 10 years ago if the only thing that got me on the team was on the relay it would be bitter disappointment,'' said Hackett, who has sought treatment for a sleeping pill addiction over the past two years.
''To discover a love for something that has been such a big part of my life is really pleasing ... I can really enjoy the sport for what it is now.''
On Friday at the Australian titles, Hackett finished fourth in the 400 freestyle.