Hansen punches ticket to third Olympics
June 26, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- Former Longhorn Brendan Hansen completed his comeback by winning the 100 breaststroke to advance to the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday evening in Omaha, Neb.
"It was a pretty pressured day for me," said Hansen. "The entire day was wearing on me. I have been saying I wanted to come back and really wanted to show that I could. Even though I had a great swim last night I didn't want there to be any doubt. I wanted to leave everything in the pool."
Hansen did just that as he was in second place following the first 50 meters, but flew past the field with the fastest split in the final half of the race at 31.79. He opened up the lead as he headed into the wall, touching for a time of 59.68.
"I am building confidence with each swim and feel really good about where I am going," said Hansen. "Now to have a ticket to London it is like I can relax and enjoy it before I get ready for the 200 (breaststroke)."
Hansen won a gold medal on the 400 medley relay team in both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics. He also took home silver in the 100 breaststroke and bronze in the 200 breaststroke in 2004. After the 2008 games it looked as though Hansen was going to retire from swimming but 18 months ago he started his comeback with this moment in mind.
"I have been training 18 months for a race that is 59 seconds long," said Hansen. "If I slip off the blocks it is all over. There are so many things that go through your mind that can go wrong so you just have to wish it away and rely on your loved ones and support staff to make sure you do what you train your body to do. It is harder to make the Olympic team than it is to medal in the Olympics."
The time of 59.68 was .03 faster than Hansen's semifinals time and is the fourth fastest in the world this year. He will also swim the 200 breaststroke which begins Thursday morning.
Hansen joins diver Troy Dumais as 2012 Olympians from the Texas men's swimming and diving program. UT now has 56 Olympians all-time.
Former Longhorns Ricky Berens and Michael Klueh each made the finals in the 200 freestyle on Tuesday night. Berens had the fifth fastest time of 1:47.49 while Klueh bounced back from a tough third-place finish in the 400 freestyle on Monday to claim the eight slot with a time of 1:48.09. The duo will swim tomorrow night to try and make the top four and claim spots on the Olympic team.
Freshman Clay Youngquist also swam in the semifinals of the 200 freestyle, claiming 12th place with a time of 1:48.42. He was joined in the evening session by classmate Kip Darmody, who posted a time of 55.03 for 11th in the semifinals of the 100 backstroke.
Wednesday's schedule includes the prelims of the 200m butterfly in the morning at 10 a.m. The evening session starts at 6:45 p.m. and will have the 200 fly semifinals and the finals of the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke events. All this week the prelims are being televised on NBCSports while the finals are live on NBC.
Longhorns in 2012 Olympics
Tuesday, June 26
200 Freestyle (124 swimmers)