Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 20, 2004
Date Finished: August 21, 2004
The Olympic 1500 metres freestyle has had a tendency towards champions with a greater amount of longevity than other Olympic swimming events. [Vladimir Salnikov] had, barring the 1984 boycott, dominated the eighties whilst Australia's [Kieren Perkins] had followed as him as the star of the early nineties. The most recent member of this club, [Grant Hackett] of Australian had been unbeatable at the distance since 1997 and would have started as an overwhelming favourite for the Olympic title had it not been for the persistent bouts of bronchial asthma that had marred his progress towards Athens. The final developed into a three-way battle between Hackett, [Larsen Jensen] of the USA and Great Britain's [Dave Davies] as the trio broke away from the rest early in the race. The Aussie gradually drew away from his two pursuers in the closing stages to retain his title in Olympic record time with Jensen holding off the challenge of Davies to earn silver. Although not known at the time Hackett was competing despite suffering from a partially collapsed lung which was operating at only three-quarter capacity.