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Along with teammates Michael Klim, Ian van der Wal and Hackett, Thorpe claimed silver, making him the youngest ever Pan Pacific medalist.
In October 1997, a few days before his fifteenth birthday, Thorpe competed in qualifying trials in Brisbane for the 1998 World Aquatics Championships in Perth.
Frost knew that Thorpe had no realistic chance of making the top two in any event, which would have meant Olympic selection at only 13 years and six months.
He sent Thorpe to Sydney merely to gain competition experience at senior national level.
He contested all twelve events, winning ten individual gold and two bronze medals.
Thorpe's time was not enough to qualify for the final, but earned him selection in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay team.
Thorpe gained selection for the world championships by finishing fourth and second in the 200 m and 400 m freestyle respectively. Thorpe's first international appearance in his home country, at the 1998 World Championships in Perth, began with the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay.
Swimming the third leg after Klim and Hackett, Thorpe broke away from 200 m butterfly Olympic champion Tom Malchow to set a split time of 1 min 47.67 s, just 0.26 seconds slower than Klim's winning time in the 200 m final.
Although anchorman Kowalski finished outside the world record, Thorpe was ranked fourth in the world before the 400 m final, which Hackett led from the outset.Thorpe qualified in second place in the heats of the 400 m individual medley and reached his first national final.