Magnussen Delivers Win In First Race Back At Vic Open


The most anticipated race of the night was surely that of the men’s 100m freestyle, where former World Champion James Magnussen would be racing in his first final in more than 9 months. Having had shoulder surgery last summer, Magnussen pulled out of the World Championships and has been recovering quietly with his coaching team of Mitch and Lach Falvey at Ravenswood Swim Club ever since.

Magnussen kicked off his Victorian Open with a sound 50.05 100m freestyle in prelims to take the top seed, and followed that up with a winning mark of 49.35 tonight in finals.  Certainly, a sub-49 would have been a dream for Maggie fans, but 49-low is still a solid time for the swimmer who is admittedly “rusty” this meet.

2nd place in the men’s 100m free went to another comeback kid, Kenneth To, who has only competed in a handful of meets since recovering from back surgery in 2014. To took the silver tonight in 49.68, while Miami Swim Club athlete Daniel Smith was the only other sub-50 swimmer of the final, clocking a 49.89 for bronze.

Swimming Australian released their Aquatic Super Series roster back in December, with the final line-up to be determined after this Vic Open meet.  It’s hard to say if Maggie’s 49.35 would be enough to be added to the roster to join Aussie Cameron McEvoy, the men’s sprinter already named to the meet.

Young gun Kyle Chalmers scored a mark of 49.30 yesterday at the South Australian State Titles, so he technically registered the quicker time between Maggie and himself, if Swimming Australia were to add another sprinter based solely on 2016 times.

In a surprising turn of events in another men’s race, the 400m freestyle, World Championships bronze medalist Mack Horton looked to be the favorite headed into the final, having clocked the morning’s swiftest prelims swim in 3:49.87, the only sub-3:50 mark of the early session. But, British swimmer Stephen Milne fired off a 55.36 opening 100 over Horton’s 55.94 and Milne never looked back, maintaining the lead the entire race.

Milne would wind up with the gold in 3:48.99, the 7th fastest time of the 21-year-old’s career. Horton settled for silver in 3:49.47, just about half a second faster than his morning swim, while Chandler swimmer David McKeon rounded out the podium in 3:49.89. Of note, Canada’s Ryan Cochrane claimed 5th in 3:52.48 tonight.

Double World Champion, Mitch Larkin, took the men’s 50m backstroke tonight, touching in the only sub-25-second mark of the evening. 24.98 got the job done for Larkin, with Josh Beaver coming in 2nd (25.21) and Ben Treffers earning 3rd (25.59).

On the women’s side, David’s sister, Emma McKeon, certainly did her job in the women’s 50m butterfly, battling strongly against St. Peter’s Western’s Madeline Groves. The rivals went 1-2 in prelims and remained in the same slots tonight,with McKeon clocking a time of 26.12 for the world’s 5th-fastest time of the season. Groves was just .08 behind, registering a mark of 26.20, while veteran swimmer Alicia Coutts touched in 26.72 for bronze.

2015-2016 LCM Women 50 FLY

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St. Peter’s Georgia Bohl whipped out a notable women’s 100m breaststroke winning time of 1:06.98 tonight, the fastest of her young career. Bohl, who will be competing at the Aquatic Super Series, cranked out her nation’s 6th-fastest time ever to top the rest of the field, which included Swedish World Champion, Jennie Johansson, who touched in 1:07.56 for silver and Lorna Tonks, who scored a 1:07.89 for bronze.

For Bohl, her time now resides as the world’s 8th-fastest this season:

2015-2016 LCM Women 100 BREAST

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Day 2 prelims resume today at 9am local/5pm Eastern.

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bobo gigi
7 years ago

If Australia can finally find a 1.06 low-breaststroker on the women’s side, then they should win the medley relay in Rio.
If not, I pick USA for gold.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

No thoughts about China and Sweden? Imagine Sjostrom putting a 55 flat split on fly..

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Bobo, that’s either very brave of you or highly presumptuous !! The W4XMED looks a race in five and five into three just doesn’t work !

CHN won in Kazan by being the most even across all four strokes and, on those grounds, probably deserves narrow favouritism.

SWE won silver in Kazan, largely on the strength of a gobsmacker of a fly leg from Sjostrom. The BRS leg from Johannson probably will not concede much ground to most contenders but they will be coming from a considerable way back due to the lack of a quality back-stroker and it will be a matter of their 3rd best freestyler trying to hold on grimly on anchor.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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