The 2016 Australian National Championships, which double as the nation’s Olympic Trials, enter their 2nd finals session tonight in Adelaide. The men’s 400m freestyle relay serves as the final event of the night, but now with a twist.
Two-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s individual 100m freestyle, James Magnussen, was set to swim a leg in his Ravenswood Club’s 400m freestyle relay as a preparation swim before his prime time individual race on Monday. However, The Australian is reporting that the Ravenswood Club’s relay has been deemed ineligible to compete due to the fact that one of its members, William Copeland, is American.
According to The Australian, Swimming Australia had previously contacted the FINA for clarification on whether or not a non-Australian could indeed compete on a relay at the meet. Confirmation arrived yesterday stating that Copeland was indeed prohibited from swimming. As such, the club doesn’t have enough male swimmers to compose a relay, even if Maggie’s coach Mitch Falvey dove in as he did at the Victorian Open Championships earlier this year.
Nonetheless, when you’re James Magnussen vying for a spot on the Rio roster against intense rivals Cameron McEvoy and 17-year-old Kyle Chalmers, concessions will be made. Per The Australian, a special time trial will be run after the official relay event tonight in order for Maggie to get in that one ‘get the cobwebs out’ 100m free swim prior to the actual individual event. The 24-year-old stud will reportedly not lead-off the relay, however, as he wishes for a flying start to try out his wings.