March 23, 2023

Even Ian Thorpe, sitting in the stands during the race as part of his commentary duties with Channel Nine, was impressed by the achievement of an athlete two years his senior.

Thorpe said it was his favorite moment of the first two nights of competition.

“I’ve enjoyed this race to the fullest so far,” Thorpe said on Nine’s coverage. “It’s an incredible performance, especially considering his age and how long he’s been swimming in this race. This was a field of big names.”

Santos said he hoped to eclipse his own world record, but fell short by 0.03 of a second.


It didn’t matter as the Brazilian announced his retirement with a big smile. Santos, the swimming version of Benjamin Button, relished every moment of his latest win, as did the Melbourne crowd.

“I am a four-time world champion in this event and I leave the sport as a world record holder, Pan American and Olympic champion,” Santos said.

“I have traveled to over 40 countries, but tonight was the last event of my career and I want to thank World Aquatics.

“I tried to inspire people, including a lot of little kids who saw me swim.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, so it’s repetition, repetition and resilience. They push you all the time. These kids are swimming so fast now.”

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