After a disappointing finish on Sunday in the 200 free, his first race, James Magnussen has come back with a vengeance in the two sprint freestyles. First he took a win in the 100 free, and then on Wednesday added a win in the 50 free in 22.66.
It might seem reasonable for the winner of the 50 and the 100 to be the same swimmer, but consider that Magnussen expects to be a 100-200 guy rather than the more historically-typical 50-100 type. That time is faster than he’s ever been outside of April’s National Championship meet, and given his quotes to the media claiming to be unrested and unshaved, that’s a phenomenal performance.
It still all comes back to the 100, which is his target event in London. If he wants to get down to Cesar Cielo’s World Record 46.91 at the Olympics, as he’s said he did,it’ll take a much faster opening 50 than the 23.1 he posted on his 47.4 in Shanghai. For comparison, Cielo went out in a 22.1 in Rome, and though Magnussen will never be that fast to open (and doesn’t need to be), at least a 22.8 would put him well on his way to the record.
In 2nd in that race was a tie at 22.87 between Ash Callus and Hamish Rose, though Callus was at 22.75 in prelims. Cameron McEvoy, who is another 100-200 guy like Magnussen, swam a 23.24 in prelims, but then scratched the final. He instead swam the 17-18 100 fly, where he was 6th in 55.67.
Cate Campbell is having a great meet, and for the 2nd time this week posted a personal textile-best swim. This time it was by way of a victory in 50 in 24.43, which puts her 4th in the World Rankings this year. She has been quiet since the Rome World Championships, but now (at only 19) looks to be back in the sprint medal hunts for London. Her younger sister Bronte, who has had a huge breakout this year, swam a 25.07, which is just a tenth from her career-best time.
The 50 free was the only “open” event of the day, with age group action dominating the schedule. There were a few highlights at the age group level. In the 17-18 boys’ 100 fly, Jayden Hadler swam a 53.61 for the win – which is similar to the times that David Nolan put up this summer at US Summer Nationals. He’s a strong candidate to take over the 100 fly spot that will be left after Geoff Huegill’s likely post-London retirement. Hadler is only recently turned 18 as well, and has been sub-53 as a 17-year old.
In the girls’ 13-year olds division, Shayna Jack put up a great 57.97 for the win, followed by Singaporean National Nur Marina Chan in 58.57.
In the 13-year old boys’ 200 fly, Japan’s Ryosuke Lai won by a huge, ten-second margin in 2:05.32. That left him only a tenth of a second away from the Australia Age All-Comers record (by any swimmer done on Australian soil). In the girls’ version of that same race, Alanna Bowles came within half a second of an Age Record as well, this time the Australian mark, with a win in 2:15.63.