ADELEAIDE, Australia, March 19. SIMILAR to how the United States typically lurks in relation to the world rankings throughout the year before unloading during its Trials, James Magnussen has charted a similar course by remaining at home to train and compete before locking in on the Australian Olympic Trials. Magnussen reminded the world who is the reigning world champion in the men's 100 free with a textile best.
Men's 100 free
James Magnussen stunned the world last summer when he captured the world title in the event in front of heavy favorite Cesar Cielo of Brazil. He did it again this evening, when he delivered a reminder of just the type of talent he brings to the table. Magnussen dominated the finale with a blazing time of 47.10. That swim bypassed his lifetime best, which also happens to be the textile best, of 47.49 set as a relay leadoff for Australia at last summer's world championships.
The time shot Magnussen to fourth on the all time ranks, with only three techsuit-era outings ahead of him. Cielo still owns the world record with a 46.91 from the 2009 World Championships, while Alain Bernard (46.94) and Eamon Sullivan (47.05) sit two three in the all time performers list.
“It was a really exciting race,” Magnussen said. “I executed everything pretty close to the way I wanted to. It wasn't quite good enough tonight but I'll definitely give that world record another crack. I'm certainly not going to be resting on my laurels and I'm going to be doing everything in my power to break that world record because I do want to be considered the fastest man in history.”
Video of 100 free
Magnussen was not alone in his effort tonight, as James Roberts powered home in 47.63 to become the 12th-fastest swimmer of all time in the event.
“I've been training to go a lot quicker and I have been training well,” Roberts said. “It was just about doing what I've been doing at practice tonight, but it was a bit of a shock to look up and see how far under 48 [seconds] I went but it's a great feeling.”
Matt Targett just missed out on making the Olympic team in the individual event, but certainly secured a relay spot with a third-place 48.32 as Australia now owns the top three spots in the world rankings this year. Michael Phelps was the previous fastest man this year with a 48.49 from earlier this month.
Eamon Sullivan finished fourth in 48.53 for another relay spot, while Cameron McEvoy (48.58), Tom D'Orsogna (48.64), Matthew Abood (48.81) and Kyle Richardson (48.95) also competed in the finale.
Women's 200 fly
Jessicah Schipper, a two-time Olympic, earned her second individual event in London by topping the distance fly event for the eighth straight year. She clocked a 2:06.93 to rank fourth in the world, behind Ellen Gandy (2:05.95), Jemma Lowe (2:06.37) and Cammile Adams (2:06.76). Samantha Hamill picked up her second Olympics appearance with a second-place 2:08.92, just clipping the FINA A cut in the process. That swim ranks ninth in the world this year.
Amy Smith (2:10.71), Jordan White (2:12.85), Jackie Staples (2:13.08), Brianna Throssell (2:13.32), Nicole Mee (2:13.35) and Leah Bird (2:16.45) also competed for the national title.
Men's 200 breast
Olympic silver medalist Brenton Rickard captured the men's distance breaststroke title for the fifth time with a 2:11.03, earning his second individual event in London. The effort was slower than his sixth-ranked semifinal time of 2:10.99, but was good enough for the victory. Jeremy Meyer placed second in 2:12.76, but missed the FINA A cut and an automatic bid to London. Nicholas Schafer earned third in 2:12.96.
Craig Calder (2:13.10), Buster Sykes (2:13.83), Nikolas Pregelj (2:15.10), Craig Tucker (2:16.15) and Lennard Bremer (2:18.89) wrapped up the championship finale.
Women's 200 breast
Sally Foster earned the top seed heading into the finale with a 2:27.92, shy of her 10th-ranked season best of 2:27.08 from last month. Taylor McKeown, 16, checked in with a second-place 2:28.61, while Sarah Katsoulis touched third in 2:28.61. Tessa Wallace (2:28.93) and Leisel Jones (2:29.21) also made the finale, while Rebecca Kemp (2:29.69), Lorna Tonks (2:30.51) and Karlene Pircher (2:30.61) picked up the sixth through eighth seeds.
Women's 100 free
Cate Campbell, an Olympic bronze medalist, jumped to fourth in the world rankings with a 53.84 to top the semifinal rounds. Only Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.30), Fran Halsall (53.57) and Melanie Schlanger (53.74) have been faster. Schlanger, meanwhile, checked in second with a 53.91, while Alicia Coutts took third in 54.11 for sixth in the world.
Brittany Elmslie finished fourth in 54.13 for seventh in the world, while Libby Trickett qualified fifth in 54.19 en route to a shot for her third Olympics for 13th in the world rankings. Emma McKeon (54.24), Yolane Kukla (54.32) and Emily Seebohm (54.49) also made the finale.
Men's 200 back
Matson Lawson led the way in semis with a 1:58.53, while Josh Beaver took second in 1:59.03. Those times put them fifth and 10th in the world. Ashley Delaney placed third in 1:59.20, while Mitch Larkin (1:59.33) and Hayden Stoeckel (1:59.53) qualified fourth and fifth — all performances ranking the trio in the top 25 in the world. Jared Goldthorpe (2:00.26), Travis Mahoney (2:00.68) and Braiden Camm (2:00.82) rounded out the rest of the championship heat.
Men's 200 IM
Jayden Hadler paced semis with a 1:59.69, just off his season best of 1:59.65 that ranks him 10th in the world. Daniel Tranter took second in 1:59.88, but has been much faster this year with a fifth-ranked 1:59.23 from last month. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (2:00.12), Kenneth To (2:00.87), Stephen Parkes (2:01.32), Justin James (2:02.27), Leith Brodie (2:02.47) and Travis Nederpelt (2:02.53) also made the finale.
Jacqueline Freney, a Beijing Paralympian, set a world record in the women's 100 free S7 division with a 1:08.03. That effort eclipsed the 1:08.45 set by Mallory Weggemann in 2010. Taylor Corry placed second in 1:02.05 out of the S14 division, while Kayle Clarke took third with a 1:02.47 out of the S14 division.
Daniel Fox, who took silver at the IPC World Championships in the men's 100 free, topped the S14 event with a 54.38. Matt Cowdrey, an eight-time Paralympic gold medalist, clocked a 55.20 out of the S9 division to lower his world record in the event. He set the global standard with a 55.30 during the Beijing Paralympics. Tim Antalfy finished third with a 52.93 out of the S13 division, lowering that divisions world record as well. Charles Bouwer previously owned the record with a 52.98 set in August of last year.