Two-time World Champion James Magnussen has slowly been ramping up his racing since his 2016 Rio Olympic campaign. In addition to competing across the Mare Nostrum circuit already this season, the Australian sprinter took on his hometown Port Macquarie talent at a local meet.
Competing at the Port Macquarie Long Course Qualifying meet, Maggie took to the pool against youngsters in awe of the Olympian’s presence, while also getting some competition in prior to the high-profile meets leading up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Maggie, who missed out on the 2015 World Championships due to shoulder surgery and narrowly made Australia’s Olympic squad in a relay role in Rio, is looking to the Gold Coast-hosted Games as his return to top-tier elite status.
“Some people plan in four-year cycles and look towards Tokyo whereas I’m just planning it a year at a time at the moment,” he said before this past weekend’s competition.
“I don’t think that crossroads moment is necessarily now; it’ll be something that I will take stock of and think about after the Commonwealth Games.”
26-year-old Maggie put down a time of 50.03 to win the 100m freestyle at his Port Macquarie meet, off his 2017 fastest of 48.68, but enough to get his fast-twitch muscles working. His race also reportedly came after warming up an hour and a half before, while also signing autographs prior to competition, which are not ideal conditions.
Maggie’s coach Mitch Falvey told the Camden Haven Courier, “Normally you warm up and then half an hour later you race. James warmed up and then had an hour and 20 minutes where he didn’t do anything other than take photos and sign autographs which isn’t what you normally do.”
Falvey continued, “I don’t believe that time is an indication of where he’s at at all. We’re focusing more on the process rather than the outcome at the moment.
“We’ll do another time trial this week where we can control the conditions a little bit better and then see where he’s at.”
Falvey said, “We’re hoping by Queensland state titles in December he’s swimming 48 low, 47 high – that’s the goal.”