Time Ticks For Hackett And Trickett
Craig Lord
To quit or to swim on, that is the question. Hackett may plough on until the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, 2010

You'd think that more than a decade of punishment at the gruelling end of his sport would weaken Grant Hackett's resolve to go on. Apparently not. There is no decision as yet: in line with Libby Trickett and a few others, Hackett will take some time off, maybe one to three months, and then decide  if he still has the hunger. 

The aim is no longer London 2012. But Delhi 2010 and the Commonwealth Games might just be a temptation for a man who missed the home Games at Melbourne 2006 while recovering from shoulder surgery. 

The 28-year-old world record holder on Sunday confirmed he would not be swimming on to London after his brush with the triple crown in a 1,500m final that ended in frustration a touch behind the Tunisian back from a doping ban, Oussama Mellouli. The US-based African took a stimulant to get through an exam, tested positive and was removed for 18 months. He came back stronger and more aggressive than we have ever seen him - and Hackett joined the list of those denied by tiny margins: Perkins, Popov, Van den Hoogenband. Hackett fell achingly short - 0.69sec, or 0.023sec a length. 

Alan Thompson, head coach to the Dolphins, said: "I talked to him (Hackett) on the bus going to a function last night and he hadn't made his mind up then. Grant is certainly coming towards the end of his career, but he missed the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne with injury and I think that's a goal he has, but that's still two years away and that's a big decision to make. He'll have a rest now and he needs that rest and we'll wait for his decision. Grant found a new lease of life this year and he swum two of his best 1500ms since his world record (2001) and I think he knows he still has a bit of fight left in him."

Trickett and Leisel Jones will take their time deciding what's next.  

Thompson backed that stance, saying: "This is a very emotional time here and one thing that we all know is that you try not to make major decisions in your life at times of extreme emotion and you need that time to reflect and walk away and then the decision will come whatever it takes."

Jones added: "London is still four years away, it's still a long time and I'm just going to take my time and have a break. My coach (Rohan Taylor) said I can take as long as I need. It would be nice to continue on until London in 2012, we'll see, but I'm not closing any chapters. There's a girl called Ellen Gandy in our squad who swims for Britain and it would be great to see her race in 2012. It would be nice to continue on and get that 200m world record back."

Time will tick over before Trickett decides: "It's hard and difficult at this time because all the emotions are still running so hot, but at this point I am still definitely in the sport. I have three months off now which I am really excited about it. I am really looking forward to enjoying this time and enjoying the achievements and then all the thinking will come later, but at this point I still have a lot that I want to achieve in the sport."