Coach Alex is back blogging again, with his wire-to-wire coverage of the upcoming Brazilian Fast Lane ultra-sprint competition in Rio on September 23rd. He has revealed the final roster: that of the Australians.
The highlight is an anchoring 50 freestyle from James Magnussen.
Backstroke – Daniel Arnamnart
Breaststroke – Matthew Abood
Butterfly – Matt Targett
Freestyle – James Magnussen
Magnussen is still a relatively new talent in the 50, but the defending World Champion in the 100 has made huge improvements in his pure-speed in the last year. He currently sits 7th in the world this year in the 50 free.
He, along with butterflier Matt Targett, will be a monster back-half to the 200 medley relay that will all-but-decide the share of the $50,000 purse (there is an individual 50 of each stroke, but the three points given to the relay winner far trumps the 1 to the winner of each individual). Aside from the two Brazilians Cesar Cielo and Nicholas dos Santos, neither of whom are participating in this race, Targett has been the best 50 butterflier in the world.
The Targett-Magnussen vs. Bousquet-Manaudou (France) matchup on the back-half of this relay in their first round matchup will be among the highlights of the meet. The winners of that race will go on to the final to swim against the winner of USA-Brazil.
The real mystery in this race is Matthew Abood. It’s been years since he’s swum a breaststroke race (2008), but as a very talented sprint freestyler he should have the speed to get through a 50 successfully. He will have to do better than a 29.7 he swam in 2008, or he will be giving up about two seconds to his competitors.