James Magnussen Chews The Cud On Sprint Career Of World Gold & Olympic Silver Lining

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher - USA Today Sports

Australian Olympic silver medalist James Magnussen appeared on Brett Hawke’s podcast to talk about his career as one of the fastest man ever in a textile suit in the 100 freestyle. He went over his early beginnings in the sport (5:00) and how he rose to be on the Australian national team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (7:00) under coach Brent Best. Magnussen made the Commonwealth Games in the 100 freestyle by using the “walk out, run home” tactic at the Trials (12:00).

Magnussen went over his 2011 world title and how he rapidly improved from third at the 2010 Australian Trials to gold medalist at the 2011 Worlds, including fully dedicating himself to being a professional swimmer (17:50), and using disappointment to fuel himself to be on Australia’s Worlds relays (21:30).

Magnussen shared some specific sets he did (26:50) to perfect his 100 freestyle back 50, and why he limited the number of training sessions per week (30:30). He won the World title at age 20 (36:00), and also led off Australia’s gold medal winning 4×100 freestyle relay team with a 47.4 to stamp himself as a contender in the 100 freestyle (38:30).

James Magnussen followed that up with a 47.10 at the 2012 Olympic Trials (43:00), although he didn’t feel good in the warm-up before the race, but still knew he was going to swim fast. Although Magnussen was the top swimmer in the world leading into the 2012 Olympics, he had a disappointing showing in London (50:00) with a fourth place in the 4×100 freestyle relay and silver medal in the 100 freestyle, getting beat by Nathan Adrian by 0.01. Magnussen went over what went wrong in the lead-up to the Olympics, believing he didn’t race as much as he should have before the Games, and how he felt overwhelmed from all the hype.

Magnussen talked about the disappointment of the silver medal in the 100 freestyle (58:00), but how it ultimately was good for him to get touched out at the finish. The next year, he said he felt even more pressure to try and win the 100 freestyle at the 2013 World Championships (1:15:00), which he ultimately won over his arch rival Adrian.

Magnussen offered his prediction for the 100 freestyle with the impending matchup between American Caeleb Dressel and Australian Kyle Chalmers (1:21:45) and if Cesar Cielo’s world record in the 100 free can be broken.

James Magnussen has won three Olympic medals in his career, including a silver in the 100 freestyle in 2012. He also won a bronze in London in the 4×100 medley relay and a bronze in the 4×100 free relay four years later in 2016. He was also a two-time world champion in the 100 freestyle in 2011 and 2013. He retired from swimming in June 2019.