Australian icon Ian Thorpe and Dutch icon Pieter van den Hoogenband had one of many biggest rivalries in swimming. Each of the swimmers have lengthy been retired now, however their legacy within the sport lives on.
In 2017, the pair reunited in Sydney a number of days earlier than the anniversary of considered one of their most epic races on the 2000 Olympics.
Thorpe, who’s probably the most embellished Australian Olympian with a complete of five gold medals amongst 9 whole, received the 400 freestyle in Sydney. This victory made him a robust contender for the gold within the 200 freestyle. But in that later 200 free, he was out-touched by van den Hoogenband within the last and needed to accept silver in that occasion.
The rivalry between these two swimming icons was removed from over, nevertheless. On the 2001 World Championships in Fukoka, Japan, they once more went head-to-head within the 200 free.
Van den Hoogenband was the highest seed out of the semifinals. Thorpe certified second.
Within the last, they wasted no time in breaking away from the remainder of the sector, going stroke for stroke over the primary 150 meters. However Thorpe discovered a second wind, passing van den Hoogenband over the ultimate 50 to seize the win.
Thorpe’s profitable time of 1:44.06 took over half a second off of his personal world report of 1:44.69, set on the 2000 Australian Olympic trials. Van den Hoogenband finished in second place in 1:45.81, whereas American Klete Keller earned the bronze in 1:47.10.
Within the “race of the century” two years later, the pair battled it out once more within the 200 free on the 2004 Olympics in Athens, together with American Michael Phelps. Thorpe was victorious, adopted by van den Hoogenband and Phelps.