James Roberts – Set to return to pool

by Tom O'Keeffe 17

September 02nd, 2015 International, News

James Roberts – Set to return to the pool

Possessing a lifetime Personal Best in the 100m Freestyle that would have won the 2015 World Championships, James Roberts says there is still a burning motivation to get back to his best, despite being plagued with a string of injuries in the last two years that has kept the 24 year old out of competition, and for a large part, out of the water completely.

The now Gold Coast based swimmer underwent a range of operations for both of his shoulders in late 2014 & earlier this year, which left him a total of 8 months out of the water, stating “it got to the point where something needed to be done…I didn’t want my career cut short so decided last year was the time to act to begin my bid to get back to career best form”, eluding to his early 2012 performances which included the 47.63 swim at the Australian Olympic Trials held in Adelaide, a swim which ranked him 2nd in the world at the time however the impressive performance was largely overshadowed by the 47.10 James Magnussen produced in the same race.

Training in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for 5 years, Roberts has recently returned to his hometown of the Gold Coast where he is training under former Australian sprinter, and Olympic Gold Medallist, Ashley Callus, at his childhood club Somerset, saying “…I decided to train under Ashley Callus in a one-on-one capacity as I was still a fair way off the top guys. It’s been good to slowly build at my own pace without judging where I am in comparison to others”.

Whilst Roberts admits it has been hard to remain positive with injuries and illness a seemingly constant disruption to his swimming career, he wants to continue to put his best foot forward to see what the future holds, saying he is excited at the thought of the young team that is together with Kyle Chalmers now in the mix alongside Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy, stating his ultimate goal would be to earn a spot on the 4×100 Freestyle relay team for Rio, which would require a top six finish at the Olympic Trials.

Providing all goes well, the comeback to racing is set to begin in a local carnival next month, with state championship meets to follow as he builds towards the trials being held in April next year, but in his cautious words he is taking each day as it comes, focusing on taking small steps and enjoying the journey.

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Billabong
7 years ago

C’mon Jimbo (yes both of you)! Get back into shape and start kickin’ some tail. “The Mean Machine” needs you.

OpOSSUM
7 years ago

Never say never. Anyway who cares how fast James Roberts swims he’s the best looking Olympian I’ve ever seen.

OPOSSUM
7 years ago

Never say never. Anyway who cares how fast James Roberts swims he’s the hottest Olympian I’ve ever seen

Guy
7 years ago

It’s crazy Magnussen could go 47.5 – 47.9 consistently. Those times are pretty much enough to win every major competition. I trained my friend once for the 100 free and he got shoulder problems quickly. My guess is to much of a good thing doing essentially USRPT. Not that I’m against it but lots of sprinting with sub optimal technique is hard on the shoulders.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  Guy
7 years ago

I think also it is a case of growing young men . there might be times when it is overload & other times trading adaptations can be absorbed .

Joshualaba
7 years ago

Pray they all stay injury free! Would be a cracker of a race for 4×100 against the french and USA

Guy
7 years ago

47.1 + 47.63 + 47.68 + 46.6 = 3:09.01

Maggy, Roberts, Chalmers, the scientist

What could have been

commonwombat
Reply to  Guy
7 years ago

Coulda beens; mighta beens ……

Roberts’ 47.63 proved to be a complete outlier as he never went anywhere near breaking 48 in any other swim ……. and NEVER made any international final nor was he a reliable relay performer.

One wishes him well but as to whether he’s likely to be of any real material benefit to an AUS M4X100 IF he makes it to next year’s Trials & M100FS final has to be open to debate.

As with Magnussen; his actually getting to Trials AND in competitive condition/form must be considered far from certain.

luigi
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

God forbid someone has his hopes too high for the Australian team, CW!

I think I understand you now. It’s some kind of reverse-jinx spell. By constantly understating Aussies’ potential, you are actually helping them to pull the best performance of the last 16 years in Rio.

😀

Rafael
Reply to  luigi
7 years ago

Actually I Agree with cw.. Roberts aside from that 47,63 never broke 48.. never came close on even finalling on an international competition, it seems more like he drafted on Mag than anything else..

commonwombat
Reply to  luigi
7 years ago

No, Luigi, I’m just stating the hard cold real facts of his international career.

Do I wish him ill ? Certainly not. I hope he makes it to Trials and, if he makes it to Rio, that he CAN turn around his previous record of non-performance and perform well.

With regards to Magnussen, I’m not “doom-saying”; just stating hard facts that his back issues have not, to date, been resolved & will need to be for him to return to somewhere near his previous level. Therefore, there has to be legitimate doubts over his future.

DO please inform me of anything that I have stated that is manifestly incorrect or inaccurate !

Best AUS performance in 16 years in Rio… Read more »

mcgillrocks
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

I think you mean 2008. The Aussies had a whopping 20 medals with including 6 golds (including two relays triumphs).

luigi
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

CW, you might be right in the specific case of Roberts (sometimes I wonder if that pool was not a half meter short of 50), but from a general point of view I see a pattern in your posts re: Australia.

Anyway, just pulling your leg, really 😀

commonwombat
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

Luigi, no probs. Just wasn’t sure exactly what way to take your original post.

Rob, the M4X100 in Rio certainly looks an incredibly competitive race & as Kazan showed, it will be a serious battle to make that final. Yes, there are uncertainties about many countries line-ups …. but AUS probably has one of the greater levels of uncertainty (particularly re Magnussen & where to find any other reliable/capable options).

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

Not disagreeing with you CW, but like I mentioned in Maggie (pending recovery) & McEvoy, probably, 2 best freestylers in the world, add Chalmers (improvement to sub 48 sec), that is basis of great team.
Now look at France, no individualist can even final, but great relay swimmers, go figure, great depth, Russia, really only 1 possible contender, but great depth, likewise with the US, again pending Adrian gets back to 2012 form, which he hasn’t really touched since, ummmm.

So if getting Roberts back give us some depth, it will be great, yes big ??? marks over Maggie & Roberts & whether any others can step up. No doubt.
Like I said the other countries has great… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  luigi
7 years ago

I agree Luigi. Not saying that Jams Roberts will get back to lifetime best, but what the Aussie 4X100 lacks is depth. They have 2 of the best swimmers in the world in McEvoy & Maggie (yes coming back from shoulder injury anything can happen), then they have this kid Chalmers, the fastest 16 year old ever & the new sprint star. Now if Roberts can get back to his Olympics swims, yes not good enough to final or medal, 48.57 & low 48 splits, is a great 4th swimmer to the big 3. This is .8 faster then Abood has swam this year.
I’ll be rooting for Roberts to perform & a top mens 4X100 Aussie team.
… Read more »

weirdo
Reply to  commonwombat
7 years ago

I remember that race and I don’t think I have ever seen someone get such a great ride (draft) off of Maggie . When the race was over, I thought to myself that he will have a very hard time replicating that race!