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You are in: SPORTS > Aquatics > Heroes

Aquatics heroes

Susie O'Neill   Australia   Susie O'Neill Australia
Victoria 1994, Kuala Lumpur 1998
 

Australian Susie O'Neill became the greatest swimmer in Commonwealth Games history at the Kuala Lumpur games when she picked up six more golds to add to her previous four.

The Olympic and world champion wowed the crowds and sent Aussies back home wild with delight as their swim team swept the board.

 
Ian Thorpe   Australia   Ian Thorpe Australia
Kuala Lumpur - 1998
 

While Susie O'Neill was reaching the pinnacle of her career, just starting out on his was 15-year-old Australian Ian Thorpe. The youngster bagged four gold medals of his own prompting team coach Don Talbot to gush, "You can't believe he's 15. Its genetics gone bloody crazy!"

Since the 98 Games, Thorpe has gone on to take the world of swimming by storm and the pool heartthrob is set to raise the roof of the Aquatics Centre in Manchester when he hits the water.

 
Alexandre Despatie   Canada   Alexandre Despatie Canada
Kuala Lumpur - 1998
 

One of the most endearing images from the last games was that of another child prodigy. Alexandre Despatie picked up the diving gold in the men's platform event at the age of just 13 and promptly burst into tears.

Having learned to swim in his grandfather's backyard pool the shock of suddenly being propelled to the pinnacle of his sport was all too much for the youngster. The smart money is on him repeating the feat in Manchester where we're sure to see some high quality diving and tense competition.

 
Sylvie Frechette   Canada   Sylvie Frechette Canada
Edinburgh 1986, Auckland 1990
 

Sylvie picked up the Gold in the solo synchronised swimming in both 1986 and 1990, the first two times the sport was included in the Commonwealth Games. Technically brilliant and a role-model for countless modern day swimmers, she is best remembered for an amazing row over an Olympic gold medal after the Barcleona games. A Brazilian judge pressed the wrong button when awarding his scores giving the gold medal to American rival Kristen Babb-Sprague having awarded Frechette 8.7 rather than 9.7.

After a year of arguing Frechette was eventually awarded a gold medal but Babb-Sprague was allowed to keep hers too.

 
Dawn Fraser   Australia   Dawn Fraser Australia
Perth 1962
 

The first woman to swim 100m freestyle in under one minute. Fraser won four gold medals in the 110yds freestyle, 440yds freestyle, 4x110yds freestyle relay and the 4x110yds medley relay at Perth, Western Australia in 1962. She had also competed in Cardiff in 1958 where she won gold in the 110yds freestyle and the 4x110yds freestyle relay, and silver medals in both the 440yds freestyle and the 4x110yds medley relay team.

During her career she also held thirty-nine world records (twenty-seven individual and seven team), won eight Olympic medals and thirty Australian championships which just goes to show the Aussie dominance in the pool is nothing new.

 
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