Ian Thorpe highlights brutal truth for Aussie swimming medallist

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·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
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Ian Thorpe (pictured right) during the Olympic qualification and (pictured left) Brendon Smith holding up his bronze medal in Tokyo.
Ian Thorpe (pictured right) pointed out the unfortunate reality that 400m medley bronze medalist Brendon Smith (pictured left) would have won gold with his heat time. (Getty Images)

Aussie Olympic legend Ian Thorpe has pointed out a harsh truth for bronze medalist Brendon Smith, despite a brilliant swim to clinch a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Victorian swimmer Smith produced a brilliant final leg of his 400m Medley final to claim bronze at his first ever Olympic Games.

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Smith was going into the final in fantastic form, but was unable to close the gap to American Chase Kalisz in the final.

American Kalisz won gold in 4:09.42.

However, Olympic legend Thorpe pointed out Smith's heat time would have won him gold medal in the final.

“The thing that’s tough here, I have to point it out, is if he had swum the time he did in the heat he would have won that final,” Thorpe said on Channel 7.

Smith clocked 4:09.27 during his qualifying heat.

Victorian Smith originally shot to gold-medal favouritism in the 400-metre individual medley.

Smith set an Australian record with the time and was quickest into his final, but just didn't have enough to grab gold.

Brendon Smith thrilled with podium finish

However, Smith was over the moon to snare a medal in his first Olympic Games.

"To get on the podium is absolutely incredible," he said.

Shortly after Smith's race, the women's 4x100m relay stunned the world after smashing the world record and grabbing gold in a remarkable swim.

The Aussie quarter of Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell defended their title in extraordinary scenes on Sunday.

The Aussies torched their rivals in a time of three minutes 29.69 seconds, becoming the first women's team in history to break the 3:30 barrier in the event.

"You never see that," Aussie great Leisel Jones said in commentary for Channel 7.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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