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Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 15, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008

Gold: TUN Oussama Mellouli
Silver: AUS Grant Hackett
Bronze: CAN Ryan Cochrane

Summary

Australia's Grant Hackett arrived in Beijing with the aim of becoming the first man to win three successive Olympic titles in the same event. He had maintained an aura of invincibility in the event for the best part of a decade but his winning streak had been snapped at the 2007 World Championships and he had seriously considered switching to the open water event for his farewell Olympic appearance. Hackett re-established himself as favourite with his performance in the heats and qualified fastest with the second fastest time in history. The final soon developed into a duel between Hackett and Canada's Ryan Cochrane as the two traded the lead throughout the first two thirds of the race. In the final third of the race Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, swimming in an outside lane, caught up with the leading pair and forged ahead to win an upset victory over the Australian with Cochrane holding on to claim the bronze.

Mellouli's path to the 2008 Games was not a smooth one. The Tunisian had won the 800 metre title at the 2007 World Championships only to lose it when it was revealed that he failed a doping test at the previous year's US Open meeting. The substance involved was revealed to be Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. He claimed that he been given a pill by a fellow student at the University of Southern California in order to aid him in writing a term paper. The Tunisian authorities originally gave him merely a warning but FINA appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the punishment was upgraded to an 18-month ban. Luckily for Mellouli this gave him a small window of time to post a time good enough to qualify him for Olympic selection.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Oussama Mellouli 24 Tunisia TUN Gold
2 Grant Hackett 28 Australia AUS Silver
3 Ryan Cochrane 19 Canada CAN Bronze
4 Yury Prilukov 24 Russia RUS
5 Larsen Jensen 22 United States USA
6 Dave Davies 23 Great Britain GBR
7 Zhang Lin 21 China CHN
8 Sun Yang 16 China CHN
9 Mateusz Sawrymowicz 21 Poland POL
10 Federico Colbertaldo 19 Italy ITA
11 Peter Vanderkaay 24 United States USA
12 Spyros Gianniotis 28 Greece GRE
13 Nicolas Rostoucher 27 France FRA
14 Mads Glæsner 19 Denmark DEN
15 Craig Stevens 28 Australia AUS
16 Park Tae-Hwan 18 South Korea KOR
17 Samuel Pizzetti 21 Italy ITA
18 Takeshi Matsuda 24 Japan JPN
19 Gergő Kiss 20 Hungary HUN
20 Tom Vangeneugden 25 Belgium BEL
21 Florian Janistyn 20 Austria AUT
22 Troy Prinsloo 22 South Africa RSA
23 Serhiy Fesenko 26 Ukraine UKR
24 Maciej Hreniak 19 Poland POL
25 Richard Charlesworth 19 Great Britain GBR
26 Marcos Rivera 25 Spain ESP
27 Sébastien Rouault 22 France FRA
28 Dragoş Coman 27 Romania ROU
29 Fernando Costa 23 Portugal POR
30 Petar Stoychev 31 Bulgaria BUL
31 Nikita Lobintsev 19 Russia RUS
32 Ryan Arabejo 18 Philippines PHI
33 Ricardo Monasterio 29 Venezuela VEN
34 Juan Martín Pereyra 27 Argentina ARG
35 Ediz Yıldırımer 14 Turkey TUR