Horton relishing world swimming lessons
SWIMMING: Guidance from Grant Hackett has helped anointed distance king Mack Horton bounce back at the world swimming championships in Russia.
But Horton, 19, hopes the real benefit of the dual Olympic champion's advice will be felt during his Rio 2016 Olympic Games charge.
World No.1 Horton was left reeling after missing the 400m freestyle final following a lacklustre swim in the heats on the opening day at Kazan.
However, a quiet word from Hackett ensured he did not leave anything to chance in his other No.1 ranked event - the 800m freestyle - in Tuesday's day three heats.
Horton emerged from a blistering heat to qualify fifth fastest for Wednesday night's final.
"He said I need to leave it behind me, get on with the week and forget about it which I think I have done," Horton said of Hackett's tips.
"I am feeling good in the water and my head is probably in a better space as well."
Horton said champion backstroker Mitch Larkin and his team roommate David McKeon had also helped him develop what he believed would be priceless mental skills at Rio where he's tipped to emerge as the distance king.
Larkin has set two Australian records to date at Kazan as he tries to make up for missing the 2013 world titles 200m backstroke final.
And McKeon has been a valuable sounding board after also surprisingly missing the 400m freestyle final at Kazan.
"Mitch has been a big help and David ... well because we were both in the same boat we kind of talked it through together," Horton said.
"Leading into next year where those skills will be invaluable.
"It's better to have it happen now than next year.
"It's a new day, a new race. It's basically day one again."
Horton is also expected to threaten the podium in Sunday's 1500m freestyle - an event Hackett has already predicted the teenager can claim at Rio.
The 34-year-old Hackett has provided welcome guidance as part of the Australian team at Kazan.
He surprisingly made the 4x200m freestyle relay team for Kazan after a triumphant return at April's trials - his first major meet since the 2008 Olympics.
Meanwhile, Emma McKeon was seventh fastest in the women's 200m freestyle heats, after being left in tears following a fourth-place finish in Monday's 100m butterfly.
HOW AUSSIES FARED IN WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY THREE HEATS
Men's 50m breaststroke
- Christian Sprenger 17th fastest overall (27.54 seconds); failed to qualify for semi-finals
Women's 200m freestyle
- Emma McKeon seventh fastest overall ahead of Tuesday night's semi-finals (one minute 57.78 seconds)
- Melanie Wright (nee Schlanger) 17th fastest (1:58.94); failed to qualify for semi-finals
Men's 200m butterfly
- David Morgan eighth fastest (1:56.05) ahead of Tuesday night's semi-finals
- Grant Irvine 14th fastest (1:56.92) ahead of semi-finals
Men's 800m freestyle
- Mack Horton fifth fastest (7:47.08) qualifier for Wednesday night's final
Aussies in Tuesday night finals (from 12:30am Wednesday AEST):
- Cameron McEvoy (200m freestyle; third fastest qualifier)
- Emily Seebohm (100m backstroke; top qualifier)
- Mitch Larkin (100m backstroke; top qualifier)
- Jess Ashwood (1500m freestyle; third fastest qualifier)