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SHANGHAI, China, July 28. REALIZING the potential demonstrated with a textile best as a relay leadoff earlier in the meet, Australia's James Magnussen captured his first individual world title with a win in the men's 100 free at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Magnussen dominated the men's 100 free with a sterling time of 47.63. The effort was not far off his textile best time of 47.49 set as the relay leadoff of Australia's surprising world title in the men's 400 free relay to kick off the meet. Magnussen becomes the first Aussie to win the men's 100 free, bettering the previous best of silver by Michael Klim back in 1998.
"This is such an amazing thing for me," Magnussen said. "When I get back to Australia, I will be relaxing with my friends, and it will sound amazing to be called a world champion. It has been six weeks since I have gotten a good night's sleep. No Australian has won this race at the world championships before, so it is good to be in the same club as the legends of this sport."
Canada's Brent Hayden snagged silver with a time of 47.95, returning to the men's 100 free podium for the first time since sharing the world title with Filippo Magnini in 2007.
"I am faster than I was last year, and it's good to win a medal," Hayden said. "When I head home, I will be training even harder. Hopefully, I will be better next year. I was disappointed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but I feel good this time around."
France's William Meynard finished third overall tonight in 48.00, giving France a podium presence for the second straight meet. Alain Bernard and Fred Bousquet took silver and bronze in 2009.
Defending champion Cesar Cielo missed the podium by the slimmest of margins with a fourth-place 48.01. While Cielo claimed the men's 50 fly earlier in the meet, he is still battling critics over his positive doping test warning that occurred shortly before the beginning of the meet.
France's Fabien Gilot (48.13), USA's Nathan Adrian (48.23), Italy's Luca Dotto (48.24) and The Netherlands' Sebastiaan Verschuren (48.27) rounded out the championship field.