Mack Horton’s Mix Of Speed & Endurance Sets Him Up For World Titles Quad Mission

Mack Horton at the double - by Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd

Mack Horton is going back to his world junior roots and a five-gold-medals season when he becomes the first Australian to take on the 200,400, 800 and 1500m free challenge at world titles since Grant Hackett in 2005. In Rio last year, Horton claimed Olympic 400m gold at the start of the week but was spent by the time the 1500m came round at the end of the program. Since then, adjustments have been made to his training by coach Craig Jackson to cope with the goal of a wide freestyle spectrum, Horton tells Nicole Jeffery at The Australian

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It will be interesting to see what he can do in the 200. For someone who has been 3.41.55 in the 400 a PB of 1.46.83 in the 200 is way too slow. By my reckoning only four other swimmers have been under 3.43 in the 400 in textile(Thorpe, Sun Yang, Park Taw-Hwan and Hackett) and they have all gone 1.44 in the 200 with the exception of Hackett whose best was a 1.45. There is plenty of scope for Horton to improve.


It could well be that 400-800 are his “sweet spot” distance-wise and that has the drawback of only one of these being an Olympic distance.

It could well be that at 1500, he is coming up against those who are “optimised” at 800-1500 and, at 200, he is coming up against those who are 100-200 “optimised” and lacks their sprint capacity. Yes, there are some who DO have the extraordinary range across distances (Sun/Ledecky) but they are very few and we clearly know them as the exceptional talents they are/were.

Whilst I agree that his 200 PB can certainly come down; I’d be surprised if he’ll go much below 1.46 (ie a drop of around 1sec)

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