Arena, one of the world’s leading brands in aquatic sports, is pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Australia’s World Champion freestyle sprinter, James Magnussen. The 22-year-old from Sydney, who became the first Australian to win the world 100m freestyle title at the 2011 Championships in Shanghai, will swim under the three-diamond banner starting in July 2013.
“I am very excited and honoured to be working with Arena in the future of my swimming career,” said Magnussen. “The company and the people are highly respected all over the swimming world and so to be joining the International Elite team is something that means a lot to me. Arena shares my passion for swimming and working hard to achieve great things in the water so it is a strong fit for me. I am hopeful of many successes in the future with the Arena Team.”
In the years leading up to his breakthrough in Shanghai, Magnussen’s obvious potential and improving performances had earned him a permanent place on the Australian relay teams, along with a number of notable medals. At the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, he swam the anchor leg in the 4x100m freestyle team’s silver medal effort, before winning gold in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, setting a new games record in the process.
However, it was 2011 that established Magnussen as a name to be reckoned with at the world’s premier meets. He made his first statement in his kickoff event in Shanghai, when his 47.49 lead-off in Australia’s winning 4x100m freestyle relay effort marked the fastest-ever in a textile suit, eclipsing Pieter van den Hoogenband’s pre-polyurethane suit time of 47.84. Four days later in the individual 100m freestyle, he was sixth at the turn, and then produced a blistering second fifty as he came home to win it in 47.63. On the final night in the event, he swam the 4x100m medley relay’s fastest freestyle leg by far, almost catching the victorious Americans as the Australians finished second.
Preparations for the 2012 Olympics were promising as Magnussen improved his own textile best to record the fastest ever non-polyurethane 100m freestyle at the Australian Championships, winning in a time of 47.10. Despite strong performances in London he was unable to repeat his World Championship heroics as he lost out on the 100m freestyle gold by just one-hundredth of a second. He also picked up a bronze medal in the 4x100m medley relay.
With the Barcelona Championships just weeks away, Magnussen has once again positioned himself as a real contender in the freestyle sprint events, and goes into the meet with four of the year’s five fastest 100m freestyle times (topping at 47.53), along with the second-fastest 50 dash (21.52).
“Both the 50m and 100m events in Barcelona will be very competitive with many swimmers in great form, and it will be a big challenge for me, but I am really looking forward to it,” said Magnussen. “I was pleased with my racing at the French Open in Vichy and I’ve had a great preparation leading into the World Championships. I will be entering Team Camp with my teammates on the Australian Swim Team to finish my preparations and work on those finer details that are important going into big meets. My focus for Barcelona is really on executing my race plans and the different aspects I have been working on with my coach and support team. I am really committed to supporting my Australian teammates in their pursuits and making a strong contribution to our overall team results.”
Being away from the Australian winter in the lead-up to Barcelona suits Magnussen, as by his own admission he is a big fan of warm weather and the beach, and has enjoyed the hot weather of France and Spain. He is also a rugby league fan and tries at every opportunity to catch his favourite team, the Canterbury Bulldogs, on TV. However, come the end of July it seems more likely that it will be the Bulldogs watching Magnussen on TV rather than the other way around.
“We are really excited to welcome a sprinter of James’ calibre to the arena family,” said Giuseppe Musciacchio, Arena General Manager of Brand Development. “His rapid rise to prominence and his consistently improving results have shown him to be an athlete of immense talent in swimming’s most competitive disciplines. It is also very pleasing to add another Australian to our Elite Team along with Emily Seebohm. Together we believe we can achieve great things – arena is a really good match for James, given our focus on youth and innovation and quality, while for us he is a bold and appealing personality for the brand in the sport’s most prominent events. Every time a champion like James chooses to work with us, we appreciate a little bit more that we’re doing things right at arena. We are looking forward to our future collaboration with James, and the chance to help him realize his full potential.”
This unedited press release was provided to SwimSwam by Arena, a swimswam partner.