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Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

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Author Topic: Olympic Games Opening Ceremony  (Read 155 times)
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« on: August 17, 2008, 08:53:27 am »
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The Men’s 1500 meter swim was awesome. Pity the Australian going for his 3 Gold didn’t get it but in the semis he broke his own world records. The man is a power machine but failed to clasp the gold and took the silver only, losing by about an 1/8 of a second. In the interview after his swim he said he wished he had scored the lane next to the winner, “Mellouli.” Congatulations to the Tunisian.

Hackett plays down Mellouli's doping record

Grant Hackett says he has not spent any time worrying about the doping record of Beijing Olympics 1,500 metre winner Oussama Mellouli.

The Tunisian beat Hackett by less than a second in today's final, denying the Australian a third consecutive Olympic title.

Mellouli was forced to hand back the gold and silver medals he won at last year's World Championships after testing positive to a banned stimulant in 2006.

FINA was forced to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after discovering Tunisian swimming authorities knew of the positive test and had only issued a warning

Mellouli was handed a retrospective 18-month penalty, rather than the normal two years, allowing him to swim in Beijing.

Hackett said he can only focus on his own performance.

"I didn't think about it after the race was over until it was mentioned to me," Hackett said.

"You can't spend life worrying about those that sort of stuff. I was just focused on me, my own race, my own race plan, getting every little bit out of myself - that was my main focus.

"I've come a long way since world championships 18 months ago and I'm really proud of the way I've applied myself to my swimming.

"I've been doing this for a long, long time at this level. It is the way it is and that's life."

Mellouli has steadfastly maintained his positive test for amphetamines was a honest mistake and Hackett refused to rain on his parade.

"It's something I am not going to get into, his past is his past, it's not for me to worry about," Hackett said.

"He was a competitor on the blocks today, in relation to the rules he abided by them, he did a good race and good on him."

Mellouli's 'miracle'

Mellouli, a student at the University of Southern California at the time of the offence, said he had taken an Adderall pill two days before he tested positive so he could stay awake to finish a university assignment.

"This year was difficult because of the penalty I got, but I thank God for the talent I've been given," Mellouli said.

"In the finals you never know what can happen, you could get last or first.
"In the Olympic Games anything can happen - it was a miracle and for once the miracle was for me."

Australian head swimming coach Alan Thompson said no aspersions should be cast on Mellouli.

Thompson said Mellouli served his suspension for previous drug use and has trained hard to achieve his results.

"He took the initiative on the lap when Grant was breathing to the right side and he was breathing to the left side and put a gap in them that Grant really tried hard to close and just couldn't quite get there," Thompson said.

Grant Hacket:

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