World Champion Magnussen Still Weighing Retirement Decision

Having battled an extensive shoulder injury that required surgery in 2015, Australian speedster James Magnussen has struggled to return to form since his back-to-back World Championship title-winning days. The 2011 and 2013 100m freestyle gold medalist at Worlds and silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games, Magnussen sat out the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, so last year’s Commonwealth Games served as the 26-year-old’s biggest international debut in several years.

Although he didn’t qualify in his pet 100m freestyle event individually on the Gold Coast, the 27-year-old did reap gold as a member of Australia’s men’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Since then, Magnussen has remained relatively quiet, reportedly still staying in shape, but opting out of competitions such as the World Cup and Short Course World Championships.

While conducting a swim clinic with fellow Australian Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes this week, Magnussen told the local Port Macquarie News “while my heart says Tokyo, my head says that may not be the best decision career-wise,” regarding a retirement determination.

“You never say never. I’m still in shape and if the trials were tomorrow I’d back myself, but at the moment at my age it’s about weighing up the opportunities outside of the pool more so than Tokyo,” Maggie continued.

Potentially pursing career in the property sector, Magnussen stressed, “We’ve got a great bunch of swimmers there at the moment so for me to retire and then have a comeback I’d hate to take the spotlight off any of the young guys that are there now.”

Even with names like Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers, mainstay Cameron McEvoy, and emerging 20-year-old Jack Cartwright on the Aussie roster, there is still room for Maggie to make his impact. He ended 2017 as the 4th fastest Australian in the 100m free (48.68), while also ranked as the 3rd fastest Aussie 50m freestyler (21.98).

With minimal racing in 2018, Maggie closed the calendar year as the 5th fastest 100m freestyler (48.79) in Australia and the 3rd fastest Aussie 50m freestyler in 22.05.

Bottom line, Maggie is remaining ambiguous, stating, “I’m waiting for a few things to fall into place outside of the pool before I make a definite decision.”

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2 years ago

It’s a shame that his focus seems so far away from swimming his best in Tokyo based on those answers .. although I do wish those four swimmers you mention would be the sprint relay team for Tokyo as they all have potential for super fast splits

2 years ago

He may be weighing his retirement decision but no one else is, he’s done and everyone else in the world knows that

2 years ago

Such a hard decision, wish him all the best.

2 years ago

He got blamed for being toxic and a reason the Aussies collapsed at the Olympics. Not sure of the team dynamics.

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Never recovered from the ass-kicking Adrian gave him in London.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

If your theory is correct then adrian wil be the same after Rio

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He won the World Championships in 2013.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

By 0.01 ???

2 years ago

He’s been this ambiguous for a while now and I think his heart isn’t in it anymore. That is very sad. Between 2011 and 2013 he would throw down 47s as if it was ordinary business. Good luck to him, whatever he chooses to do.

Reply to  Luigi
2 years ago

You’ve hit the nail smack on the head !! Magnussen has been in this same “holding pattern” since Rio. His media activity has been of greater note than anything he has produced in the water. In all honesty, his “peak performance” post shoulder operation has been in the same holding pattern of mid-high 48sec with zero evidence of ever returning to his 2011-13 levels or even his 2014 standard. The reality is that continuing to Tokyo has, as its topside, selection as a relay only member of the 4×100 (and as 4th seed at best); a relay whose medal prospects would be best described as a possible rather than likely bronze medal. His call to make, albeit maybe its time… Read more »

2 years ago

I thought for sure Magnussen was going to be the first person to swim a textile 46. Especially after dropping a 47.1 so early in his career. Such a shame. I was equally disappointed when Agnel of France fell off as well. It just seemed like there was more in the tank for both of these amazing swimmers. Oh well – life I guess.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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