Australia's Perkins calls time on career

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The Independent Online

Kieren Perkins announced his retirement yesterday, eight weeks after his silver-medal farewell at the Sydney Games. The 27-year-old Australian now intends to work in sports marketing and broadcasting.

Kieren Perkins announced his retirement yesterday, eight weeks after his silver-medal farewell at the Sydney Games. The 27-year-old Australian now intends to work in sports marketing and broadcasting.

Perkins, who ranks alongside Vladimir Salnikov as the greatest long-distance swimmer of all-time, won gold in the 1,500 metres freestyle at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and still holds the world record in the marathon event.

"I don't think I need to prove anything at all," said Perkins, who began swimming on doctor's orders after running through a glass door as a child. "If I'd have fallen into the trap of wanting to keep going just to prove that I could win again, I might be going forever."

In Maryland, Martina Moravcova, Slovakia's first Olympic medallist, was a triple winner on the first night of competition at the Fina World Cup 2 meet held at College Park. Moravcova, who won two silver medals in Sydney, set a US Open record in the 200m freestyle of one minute 56.14 seconds. Less than an hour later, she came back to notch victories in the 100m butterfly [58.46] and 50m freestyle [24.81].

The 15-year-old Michael Phelps, who came fifth in Sydney in the 200m butterfly, easily won his event in 1:55.98.

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