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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11 years ago

about two suits, there was no rule in place prior to the craziness of 2008-2009 of one suit only.
So in euro 2008 in march, pellegrini wore a training suit underneath her racing suit that she intended for “modesty”

11 years ago

To tell the truth, I was much more surprised to see a 56.47 pop up than a 47.49.
I think as impressed I was with Magnussen’s swim (equally impressed by how he did it—puling away from Phelps on the 2nd lap which I dont think has ever been done), I believe Vollmer’s was more monumental. To my knowledge no one else other than Inge has been under 57. This swim was pretty much unheralded. Although I think in SOME people’s mind a swim of 47.5 would be pushing the limits of imagination at this meet, but still within the realm of possibility.

Magnussen’s swim however, imo, was more impressive in context– he was in bed for so long, the… Read more »

11 years ago


I have already explained above why Magnussen’s swim was better than Vollmer’s swim or even Vollmer’s hypothetical 56.2 swim.
You, on the other hand, haven’t articulated as to why Magnussen’s is not better than Volmers other than “come on man..”

You also claimed that it isn’t that crazy that anyone beat VDH’s record by .4 11 years later. How many of your swimmers have done it, coach?

If my memory serves me right, there are only 2 other swimmers who broke 48 in the past 11 years:
1. Stephan Nystrand in 2007 in speedo fastskin pro II bodysuit in 47.91
2. Brett Hayden in 2010 in 47.98

The greatest swimmer ever in recorded history, try as… Read more »

11 years ago

Coacheric – As a swim of the day -yes James was better than Dana .

Any time achieved in a final is worth more than a semi . Any Olympic final WR (PVH) is worth more than a Mare Nostrum effort (as I remember inge’s record to be -could be wrong ).

A final of a WC /Olys is shared & celebrated by many millions more plus has emotional memory.

But great semis swim Dana.

11 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 .

11 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?

11 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.

11 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

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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