Grant Hackett has been given the chance to become the first swimmer in history to win Olympic gold medals over 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle.
Australia's head coach Don Talbot said in Brisbane on Thursday that Hackett would replace world champion Michael Klim and join Ian Thorpe as Australia's 200m freestyle representatives at the Sydney Games in September.
Although Hackett failed to qualify for the 200m at last month's trials in Sydney, Klim pulled out to concentrate on his other events, leaving a vacancy the 1500m world-champion was only too pleased to fill.
But Hackett has been warned by Talbot that achieving success over the 200-1500m spectrum is a tough ask.
"That's a big order for him," Talbot said at an Olympic team training camp at Caloundra, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
"Kieren Perkins tried to get the 200, 400 and 1500 treble in '92 and he didn't succeed.
"Somebody's got to have a shot at doing it," Talbot said.
"He feels he can do it and I've got every confidence that he can handle it. He's a good worker and he's motivated. I think: Why not?" - (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)