Although James Magnussen was being hyped to take a run at Cesar Cielo’s supersuit world record of 46.91 this week at the Australian Commonwealth Trials, it was teammate Cam McEvoy who stole the show, stealing the race with a thundering final 50m to beat the defending world champion in a time of 47.65 to Magnussen’s 47.92.
For McEvoy, he completed the 100-200m freestyle combo at the Brisbane-hosted championship meet, which will select the squad that is heading to Glasgow, Scotland this summer to face off against the other countries within the Commonwealth. His time is the fastest posted thi syear, and would have actually won the event at the FINA World Championships last summer in Barcelona.
SEE ALSO: 100m Freestyle World Record
Magnussen, on the other hand, did not hide his disappointment after the race, eerily reminiscent of the shattered look following his silver medal performance at the London Games where he was out-touched by American Nathan Adrian by 1/100th of a second despite being heavily favoured to win. He admitted afterwards that he was too preoccupied with trying to break the 100m freestyle world record, instead of beating his country-mate beside him.
That record, set by Brazilian Cesar Cielo in Rome at the 2009 FINA World Aquatic Championships, has stood the test of time since then, with Magnussen coming closest prior to the Olympics when he swam a textile best 47.10.
However, it seems that when Magnussen is being hyped up to make history he becomes slightly unglued. It happened in 2012 at the Olympics where he lost to Adrian, which combined with the fourth place finish for the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, led to some serious soul-searching for the proud Australian swim program over the course of 2013. It seems to have happened here again, with Magnussen once again pounding out some magical swims, all the way up to the point that it matters most.
“I just went about the race the wrong way,” he admitted afterwards. “There’s no big prize for winning a national title. Here I am focusing on time.”
Magnussen, despite the second place finish, will have another couple chances to chase that elusive record this summer, with the Commonwealth Games kicking off in a few short months in Glasgow.