Magnussen’s Relay Gets Special Time Trial After Inelibiglity Ruling

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.

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Aussie Oy
4 years ago

It’s good that Swimming Australia play by the book to make sure eligibility of any record made in that relay race, no matter how minuscule the possibility is. Especially considering the relays are not even the qualifying events for Australian swimmers.

Compared that to the Netherlands who let Femke Heemskerk waltzed in straight into 200 free semi at Eindhoven Cup at the dismay of the other swimmers fighting to qualify for Rio.

ct swim fan
4 years ago

Lots of special treatment going on these days. (See Dutch meet)

Reply to  ct swim fan
4 years ago

How is this a special treatment?
Time trials are normal occurrences in most swimming meets.

Reply to  OntarioSwimming
4 years ago

Not in australia

Reply to  DownUnder
4 years ago

They are literally running a relay time trial at the end of the meet…

4 years ago

This was pretty ridiculous. This is the Australian Olympic Trials, not some small club meet when concessions should be made so easily. Why didn’t they just swim in the normal event with all the Australian teams and just get classed as an ‘exhibition’ team. Instead, the team swam in their own event after the actual relay, delaying the start of the Women’s 400m Free B-Final. Ravenswood have at least two other men at the meet that could have swum in place of Copeland anyway. Also, interestingly, the winner of the women’s relay, Marion, had a Chinese swimmer in their relay, but they were not classed any differently to any other team, and took home the gold medal. At least Magnussen… Read more »

Aussie Oy
Reply to  Lollipop
4 years ago

There’s a difference:
That “Chinese” swimmer, Emily Liu has Chinese nationality but she doesn’t and has never represented China and is in the process of getting Australian citizenship.

As for classifying the team “exhibition” I guess, per article, they have already asked FINA, and they said no.

Reply to  Aussie Oy
4 years ago

Not to be technical but if the Emily Liu is “in the process” of applying for Australian citizenship that would mean she is still not yet an Australian citizen and likely still a Chinese citizen. Making it exactly the same situation as the Ravenswood relay which is a non-Australian as part of a relay. Sorry but no difference at all.

Reply to  Opps
4 years ago

Actually the precedent seems to be that permanent residents with no representative links to any other nation can swim through the rounds at Nationals whilst qualifying for AUS whereas foreign nationals training in AUS (but representing their own countries internationally) can only swim heats.

That was certainly the case with Lorna Tonks, Ellen Gandy (during her ineligibility period between GBR & AUS).

With regards to the Magnussen situation, TBH I feel they should not have given “special dispensation” for a separate TT.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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