James Magnussen Ready to Prove Himself after London Debacle

January 18th, James Magnussen returns to competition with his Australian mates to face-off with South Africa and China at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series. See a complete roster of athletes, country by country, here. 

Magnussen, Australia’s biggest star — or at least the swimmer who captured the most media — has much to prove after his disappointing performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he has gone to “another level” preparing for the first meet of 2013. His coach, Brant Best, explained further to APP:

“He did a good job going into London but he has found another level. He has been amazing at training.” 

James Magnussen, 2-time Olympic Medalist

James Magnussen, Olympic Silver Medalist

After a lot of pre-London chest thumping, the Magnussen lead 4×100 freestyle relay only netted 4th, and Team USA’s Nathan Adrian snatched the Olympic gold from Magnussen in the 100 freestyle, swimming’s blue ribbon event. Coach Best is correct. Magnussen actually swam well given his tender age, 21, and that it was his first Olympic Games. Aussie journalists, however, were not so understanding.

Magnussen, described by some of his teammates as intense and  too hard on himself, did not need a lot of motivation getting back into the season. Coach Best told APP, he  was pipped by American Nathan Adrian in London.

“We reviewed the race (the London Olympic 100 freestyle) and looked at what went right and wrong, but a lot of things went right in the process for preparing for London. We don’t want to throw everything away.” 

Coach Best is excited about the upcoming Perth competition with it’s super-sized $500,000 purse, something he feels Swimming Australia needs to take the temperature of Aussie Team culture.

Several swimming stars will take to the blocks January 18th, notably Christian Sprenger, Alicia Coutts, Emily Seebohm, China’s Ye Shiwen and South Africa’s Chad le Clos, famous for out-touching Michael Phelps in his signature event, the 200 meters butterfly.


  1. korn says:

    I thought I read that Chad LeClos is out due to shoulder injury?

  2. Philip Johnson says:

    I am bodly predicting he bounces back from his lackluster performance in London and breaks the WR in the 100 this year!

    • Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:

      Philip…I think he dips into the 46s this year. That’s a big swim, but he’s so young. Guys get a lot stronger from 21-25.

      • DDias says:

        I agree.

        He has a NICE 46 on him.And Magnussen must watch out because there is a lot of youngsters breaking all age group records around the World.Cameron McEvoy is awesome.

        • Rafael says:

          For 2015/2016 the 100 Free Field will be LOADED with guys who are Crushing the NAG records everywhere.. staying on top for ANYONE until that will be pretty hard

  3. We may count on Morozov as well for strong contention this year + Adrian , Mc Evoy , and a few others . Magnussen will be back for sure but it will be a lot more exciting this year to see how well he will manage the pressure and the contention candidates in the Big meets .

  4. Jason Zajonc says:

    They guy is a beast! He had a great swim at the games but those things happen. Anyone who makes it that far and still swims that fast is amazing.

    He is crushing it and will blast off some freaking gnarly swims this year.

  5. Philip Johnson says:

    the 100 is going to be deep! Adrian, Magnussen, Morozov, Agnel. It’s going to be exciting for sure!

    • Rafael says:

      Cielo is gonna drop the 100, at least that was he said..

      Morozov for me is still not a sure competitor, he had a amazing SC championship.. but he will have to prove himself on LC

      I am also curious to see how Chiereguinni, de Lucca, Verschuren and Garcia can go now..

      • aswimfan says:

        Rafael, I agree with you on Morozov. Not sure if his upside potential in 100 free LCM is anywhere near Magnussen and Agnel.

  6. I truly hope also that Jimmy Feigen can step up this year as a very good and fast 100 freestyler . he went to the olympics and to Short course WC lately … experience is way bigger now . The only question is : can he get in the mid 47 ? I feel he can get there but couldn’t yet .
    He will defenetly be precious for the 100 free relay .

    • Rafael says:

      47-mid by now? You say it like is quite a easy number.

      If you do not consider Roberts.. only Adrian and Magnussen got this time already.. even sub 48 is hard.

  7. TXSwimmer says:

    Here we go again!

    I predict Adrian dominating the sprints again this year including the 50 free. This guy out split Magnussen in both relays and ran him down in the 100 free final and it looks like no one is convinced he is the best sprinter. Mr Magnussen and his training staff should temper their expectations. He may be lucky to even win a Bronze this time around. I think Agnel will be hard to beat as well in the 100 free.

    • Philip Johnson says:

      True, but no one is close to his 47 low. Adrian may give him a run for his money, but we’ll see.

      • Rafael says:

        Adrian will have to throw a great 50 if he wants to dominate this event

        Manadou wants to prove his that his gold was not a once in a lifetime swim.. and stay on top

        Morozov wants to show he can be a real force on LCM

        Cielo wants to reclaim his stop as best 50er.

        Consider that there are other guys on the hunt also (Ervin, Fratus, etc.)

        • PsychoDad says:

          Isn’t Morozov too short to win Olympic gold. What is the verdict now days on short sprinters? Can a short sprinter win Olympic gold any longer?

          • Rafael says:

            how tall is he?

            And considering what you said..

            how tall are the new generation sprinters? Mcevoy, Sedov? Santana just for the record is already 1,90m and we will turn 17 only in april..

          • PsychoDad says:

            His USC profile says 6’1” whihc means not more than 6’0” if not less.
            Also watch on youtube when Russian relay gets introduced and how much shorter he is than others on that relay.

          • Braden Keith Braden Keith says:

            Vlad isn’t very tall as a sprinter (though, as compared to a normal person, he’s still probably on the tall end). But am I the only one who thinks he swims “big”? When you watch him in the water, something about his body position makes him appear a lot taller than he really is.

          • aswimfan says:

            I agree with Psychodad.

            Although both are talented, just like mcEvoy (6′), I think Morozov may be just too short to be a olympics or LC world champion.

            short course (m or y) is different animal though. Even Kenneth To who is very small can make big splash.

          • Jiggsar says:

            Vlad swims like a cartoon person would.

          • Swimming fan from Finland says:

            According to website of London Olympics Morozov is 180 cm or 5`11″. In the 100m freestyle final shortest guys were Sebastian Verschuren and Brent Hayden (193cm or 6´4″ both of them) and tallest was Yannick Agnel with his 202cm or 6´8″. Cielo and Garcia didn`t provide their height to that particular site but they are considerably taller than Morozov.

            I believe it`s easier for shorter swimmers to swim fast short distances than longer events, 200m or more. It`s all about the technique. Technique with long streamline and glides is more beneficial and efficient for taller persons. Beatiful glide with neat catch is characteristic of that technique (e.g. Sun Yang, 198 cm or 6´6″ by the way).

            When it comes to sprint events there is a problem. You are swimming “behind the wave” you create whereas you should swim on the wave as Thorpe`s recently recruited coach, Gennadi Touretski, put it. This requires different technique. Just look at Morozov`s body position (as Braden Keith noted). He is definitely swimming on the wave, it looks nearly if he was swimming downwards.

            If someone founds these technical questions intresting Touretski`s interview is worth to watch:


          • Rafael says:

            Hanser is 1.92 and Cielo is 1.95

            But Hanser is pretty strong.. he was probably the strongest of all swimmers..

          • PsychoDad says:

            Touretski talked about swimming on the wave and kayak “method” enables that. Still not sure how that can make 5’11′ swimmer an Olympic champion though now days. The main principle of Touretski method was early catch with high albow and anchoring arms. That seams to favor taller swimmers that will have longer arms and much longer “range” which is another “Tourestki principle.” Longer “catch/stroke range” – faster you swim. Popov proved that.

    • aswimfan says:

      Again? Adrian did not even dominate 100 in 2012.

      • Philip Johnson says:

        Depends how you define “dominate”. Magnussen had the top time of 2012, but come the big stage, he fell to Adrian one on one twice. I would disagree though, I would say 2012 was Adrians year and he was the dominate 100 freestyler.

        • aswimfan says:

          My response was to TXswimmer who said Adrian dominated the sprints.

          If winning one race by 0.01 second defined “domination”, then you are right.
          But in my opinion it does not.

          I would use “domination” for Shiwen in 400 IM, Franklin in 200 back, Yang in 1,500 free.

  8. BC98 says:

    Magnussen will win worlds in the 100. No question.

  9. swimmer says:

    I predict hanser garcia will medal in 2013, and challenge magnussen in 2015

    • Philip Johnson says:

      If Garcia had come up in a Swimming powerhouse and was spotted when he was young, he would be no question be one of the best sprinters in the world today. however, he is 24 and for most sprinters, that is their peak. i think he has an outside chance for a medal, but saying he can challenge Magnussen is a stretch.

      • Philip Johnson says:

        but I’m not taking anything away from Garcia. To start swimming in 2009 and make the Olympic final in swimmings most deepest event is an amazing accomplishment!

        • Rafael says:

          I would bet higher now on Chiereguini than on Garcia

          Not because I´m brazilian, I Actually Think Garcia is more talented than Chiereguini and is more gifted on his bodybuild.

          Chiereguinni started swimming on 2008 only (before that, not even an athlete like hanser and was only a 53 swimmer with 17 and not even on top 10 ranking of his age on 50) and last year was already a 22 flat 50 swimmer and 48 mid at least 100.. If he fares well under Hawke, he may go 47,,

  10. jeantuehl says:

    There will be many new names in the 100 Free in a couple years and some big surprises coming for the 2016 Olympics. Watch for some of the current 18 to 19 year-old US swimmers just outside making the last OT trials semi-finals to make a huge run, and don’t forget the current crop of 15, 16 and 17 year old sprinters.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

GOLD MEDAL MEL, medal shot copy

Mel Stewart, aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, and USA Swimming. Mel has also worked as an Olympic analyst for ABC, NBC, EPSN, FOX SPORTS and TBS. At SwimSwam.com, Mel hosts Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com, a weekly report featuring the world’s fastest swimmers and Olympic medalists. Read More »