FINA World Championships, Swimming: James Magnussen Paces 100 Free Semis

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SHANGHAI, China, July 27. THE fourth evening of finals action kicked off with a swift time from Australia's James Magnussen in the men's 100 free semifinals at the FINA World Long Course Championships.

Magnussen cleared 48 seconds with a 47.90 for the top seed. Magnussen owns the textile best time in the event with a 47.49 relay leadoff for Australia's surprising victory in the men's 400 free relay. Magnussen is looking to become the first Australian man to win the 100 free in world championship action. Michael Klim is the Aussies best finisher in the event with a silver medal behind Alexander Popov back in 1998.

"I'm very happy that I went that fast again," Magnussen said. "The biggest thing is to be patient. This meet is practice for the Olympic Games, so I will definitely try my best next year."

USA's Nathan Adrian checked in with a second-seeded 48.05, just off his lifetime best of 48.00 from the techsuit era. The last American to win the event at worlds was Anthony Ervin back in 2001.

France's William Meynard, the top swimmer in prelims, qualified third in 48.25 and is hoping to join Jeremy Stravius and Camille Lacourt as the only Frenchmen to ever win a world title.

Canada's Brent Hayden (48.30), Brazil's Cesar Cielo (48.34), The Netherlands' Sebastiaan Verschuren (48.41), Italy's Luca Dotto (48.44) and France's Fabien Gilot (48.46) also made the finale.

Cielo is the reigning and defending world champion in the event, after beating Alain Bernard and Fred Bousquet to the top of the podium in 2009.

"I expected to be a bit faster from this morning, but I fought as much as I could with what I had," Cielo said. "I will try to post a better time, and hopefully, I can get a medal."

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