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Hanson Off to Athens

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Last night, Nunawading Swimming Club’s Brooke Hanson swam the best 100 metre breaststroke of her life at the 2004 Olympic Swimming Trials in her third attempt to qualify for the Olympics.

Hanson, spurred on by a huge cheer squad, was awesome beating world record holder and Olympic silver medallist Leisel Jones, touching the wall in a personal best time of 1.07.17.

Jones finished second in 1.08.07 to qualify for her second Olympics at the tender age of 18 but it was the effort by Hanson that had the attention of the electric crow d.

To qualify for her first Olympics at 26 is a remarkable achievement in itself, but when one considers that Hanson first represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games in 1994, and has kept her Olympic dream alive throughout 10 years and two failed attempts, it indicates the magnitude of her achievement.

“Definitely third time lucky,” Hanson said “Missing the 96 and 2000 teams just made me a stronger person.”

“To do that tonight is just fantastic for me.”

“It’s awesome to go a couple of 1.07s and know that’s right up there.”

Petria Thomas and Sarah Ryan are the only other female members of that Commonwealth Games team contesting these Trials and they both are duel Olympian’s, Thomas already earning a berth to her third Games this week.

The swim makes Hanson the fifth fastest swimmer of all time for the event and following the race Hanson thanked her coach Mark Thompson and her strength and conditioning coach Simon Moule for their training and support.

Hanson also thanked her sponsors Endless Spa Company for their support of her leading into the Trials.

Ian Hanson / Gary Barclay