Kieren Perkins is considered by many as the best distance freestyler ever, rivaling Vladimir Salnikov and his countryman, Grant Hackett. Perkins burst onto the international scene in 1991, winning the 400, 800, and 1,500 metres at the Pan-Pacific meet, setting a world record of 7:47.85 in the 800. At the 1992 Australian Olympic trials, he won the 400 and 1,500 in world record times. Later that year, Perkins won the 1,500 Olympic gold medal in a world record 14:43.48. In the 400 at the 1992 Olympics, he bettered his 400 world record by over a second, recording 3:45.16, but was touched out for the gold by the Unified Team’s Yevgeny Sadovy. Perkins’ performance at the 1994 Commonwealth Games may be his finest ever, winning the 200, 400, 1,500, swimming on the winning 800 freestyle relay, and breaking his own world record in the 1,500 metres. In addition, his interval split during the 1,500 also broke his 800 metre world record. In 1996, Perkins defended his Olympic title in the 1,500 metres. After 1996, his performances dropped off and he was surpassed in the distances by Hackett. It was not certain he would even make the 2000 Australian team, but he reached back, recalling past glories, and followed Hackett to the wall for a silver medal in the 1,500 freestyle. During his career, Perkins set three world records over 800 metres, three at 1,500 metres, and two at 400 metres.