Sullivan Breaks Eight Year Old World Record

Swimming | Published: Mon 18 February 2008

WAIS swimmer Eamon Sullivan has become the latest swimming house-hold name after he smashed Alex Popov's 50m freestyle world-record at the New South Wales Open Championships in Sydney.

Sullivan became the first Western Australian to achieve such a feat after setting the new mark with a scintillating 21.56sec. effort that bettered Popov's swim of 21.64sec. in 2000.

The time surprised even Sullivan who had battled through a virus in the weeks leading up to the race-meet.

"Coming off the back of three weeks of illness, I didn't really know how I was going to perform," he said.

"The 100m went really well and I went 22.1sec. at the WA titles, so I thought if I was able to swim that same race and take a bit off, I should be able to get under 22. But I never thought I'd go that fast."

The ripples at the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre had barely ceased before comparisons were being made to other swimmers past and present, but Sullivan is aware of the hard work ahead of him if he is to win gold at Beijing.

"I was only just getting used to being the fastest man in Australia. I've usually been the person who lurks in the shadows and it's good to step out tell people I'm here," he said.

Sullivan has had to overcome several injury hurdles over the past couple of years with hip, shoulder and back complaints all hampering the sprinters progress. In an Olympic year however, and with a world-record to call his own, Sullivan can now concentrate on next month's selection trials in Sydney knowing he is in the best shape of his career.