After spending most of the season ranked in the World’s top three in the 100 freestyle (he was number one for the best part of it, actually), and a killer performance at Australian Short Course Nationals two weeks ago, James Magnussen had high hopes for his performance in Shanghai.
Those hopes might have been derailed in the last week. The Australian is reporting that doctors now believe that a case of pneumonia might lie beneath a nagging respiratory infection that’s kept Magnussen from much training for the past week.
As his coach Brent Best pointed out, this doesn’t necessarily spell no-podium at the World Championships. In Best’s words: “We won’t really know how this has affected him until he gets well, but he’s strong and he’s a big boy and as long as we can keep him good between the ears, he’s still capable of swimming very well.”
But then, that’s always the challenge with a brilliant young sprinter like the 20-year old Magnussen.