Race of the Day: James Magnussen/Australian 400 Free Relay; [Link to Video]

With only four finals on the first evening session, it might seem like there was a derth of candidates for race of the night. But this was one of the better (non-suit aided) opening nights in recent memory. Dana Vollmer kills an American Record in the 100 fly in a textile-best in only a semi-final, breaking the mark of Inge de Bruijn (56.47 ahead of 56.61); James Magnussen crushes one of the great textile marks ever in the 100 free with a 47.49 relay leadoff (ahead of Pieter van den Hoogenband’s 47.84); and – the one that’s getting overlooked – Italy’s Federica Pellegrini goes under 4:02 in textile for the second time, making her the only swimmer to even do it once (4:01.97). (Though, she was wearing two suits, so there’s some debate as to whether or not this should count for a textile best.)

And those weren’t just breaking any textile best. Vollmer downed the mark of all-time-great in de Bruijn, that was set all the way back at the 2000 Olympics. Van den Hoogenband’s mark in the 100 free (47.84) had stood since that same Olympics. Incidentally, de Bruijn and Hoogenband were both Dutch – man was that  a heck of a year for swimming in the Netherlands.

Pellegrini’s swim took down the textile-best of recent returnee Laure Manaudou, set in 2006, back when she was at the top of the swimming world and was unbeatable for about a four-year period in this race.

But the edge for race of the night goes to Magnussen. Partially because he was so far ahead of where anyone’s gone in textile. But there’s more to it than that. The 100 free is a NAME race. It’s not a race like a 400 free, where most swimming fans don’t even know what a good time looks like. It’s not an 800 or a 1500, that most swim fans don’t particularly like watching more than one heat of in a meet. It’s not even the 50 free, where the start is pretty much the whole race and there’s not even enough time for a turn or a whole lot of real swimming. It’s the 100 free – a race that everyone can relate to.

Looking through the World Record holders of Klim, Biondi, Gaines and Spitz. Even all the way back to Johnny “Tarzan” Weismuller and Duke “Mr. Hawaii” Kahanamoku, 100 freestylers have historically been among the most popular and mainstream of swimmers. What race did legend Ian Thorpe put his focus on after returning from retirement? The 100 free, of course.

Watch his race here, and visit the UniversalSports highlight page to see all of the races from the whole meet.

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10 years ago

Federica Pellegrini already swam 4:01.53 in european championships in March 2008 in Textile.

10 years ago

I agree with your choice of the swim of the day.

To hack almost .4 second from Hoogie’s WR is absolute craziness.
In relative term, it is a bigger cut than from Klim’s 48.18 to Hoogie’s 47.84.

The other swims in the night pale by comparisons.

10 years ago

Hey Braden, it’s Kahanamoku, not Kahanamaku. I grew up in Hawai’i and my grandfather knew the guy (from surfing)!

10 years ago

BK, we have to think in relative term.

4 tenths in 56s is not the same as 4 tenths in 47s;
Obviously 4 tenths in 47s worth more than 4 tenths in 56s.

In addition, level of competitions and history in men 100 free is so much more than those in women 100 fly. Also, when you look at the men 100 free WR progression list, never has the men 100 WR been hacked by that much percentage-wise (obviously minus the suited era) since Manuel Dos Santos swam 53.60 to break the old Steve Clark’s WR of 54.40 in 1961. Normally, from 1961 until Hoogie, the men’s 100 free WR was chipped off by .2-.3 seconds from that 53.60… Read more »

10 years ago

People have lost sensitivity about the gravita of 47.49 and fail to appreciate what a monumental swim 47.49 is, thanks to LZR and jaked

10 years ago

No one under 47.7 right, Braden?haha.. i told before: A world champs without surprises is not a world champs.
And pay a big attention to Coutts.She looks like she was controlling every race.

10 years ago

aswimfan, how can you call .4 a bigger difference in the 47s for male 100FR to a females 56s in 100Fly? Granted .4 in :47 is a bigger chunk percentage wise, but come on, man… And is it really that crazy that someone could beat PVDH record by .4, 11 years later?…Two Suits?? Isn’t there some rule in place about wearing only one “costume” in FINA events?

10 years ago

Maggie is going to be a superstar.

He is going to take swimming back to just swimming . Racing . Achievement . Perspective. . No Armani .No flash car. No super ego .

Hey Hey he is a country boy !

Ditto Cadel Evans !

What a day for Northern NSW Country Boys .

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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