With Australian mega star James Magnussen on the mend from shoulder surgery and out of the 2015 FINA World Championships, the Dolphins swim team is looking to the rest of its sprinting contingent to step up and claim gold in the 100m freestyle event. Who is up for the challenge? Magnussen himself believes that teammate Cameron McEvoy is the man to do the job.
McEvoy certainly has the credentials, having beaten two-time World Champion Magnussen in the 100m freestyle on two separate occasions under the bright lights of a big meet – once at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and again at the 2015 Australian National Championships. In fact, McEvoy’s 48.06 national title-winning time from the meet back in April still sits as the third-fastest time in the world this year.
Says Magnussen of McEvoy’s potential to carry-on an Australian 100m freestyle World title three-peat in Kazan, “I think Cam is in the box seat. I think it’s his to lose.” (The Australian) Magnussen even threw out a time prediction, saying “I think he will hit around 47.7 sec in the final and I think that might be enough to win it. Someone might go faster in the heat or semi-final but there’s a lot of testosterone flying around in the final, so it’s harder to produce those times.’’ (The Australian)
Magnussen does hedge his forecast by giving props to two of Australia’s biggest rivals, saying “the Americans have a way of peaking at the right time. Nathan Adrian hasn’t swum fast for 12 months so I think he’ll be looking to do that.” As for Russia, Magnussen calls the squad the “big dark horses who swam very fast in Kazan at the 2013 World University Games.” For our part, SwimSwam selected Russia’s Vladimir Morozov to claim 100m free gold in Kazan, followed by America’s Nathan Adrian, then McEvoy for bronze.
McEvoy will of course also be competing in the men’s 200m freestyle, where he currently is positioned as fourth-fastest in the world with the 1:45.94 he registered at Australian Nationals. Magnussen cites the fact that, with France’s Yannick Agnel out of the mix due to sickness, he believes McEvoy can “step up and win. It’s a good chance for him to get a bit of spotlight for himself.”
As for Magnussen’s immediate future, his time is primarily spent slowly getting acclimated to the water. He is currently limited to kicking and one-arm swimming for the next month, but does say his recovery and rehab had gone smoothly. The 24-year old hopes to be back in full training in September. Competitions are not on his horizon for this year, but ‘Maggie’ certainly has focus set on the next big world-wide competition. “My focus is on peaking twice in the next year, once at the Olympic trials and then at the Rio Olympics.”