McEvoy sets blistering pace, Magnussen out

Australia's Cameron McEvoy at the Aquatic Super Series swimming event in Perth, on Feb 6, 2016.
Australia's Cameron McEvoy at the Aquatic Super Series swimming event in Perth, on Feb 6, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

ADELAIDE • Cameron McEvoy swam the third-fastest time in history to storm to victory in the 100m freestyle at the Australian Championships, with James Magnussen surprisingly missing out qualifying in the event for the Rio Olympics yesterday.

McEvoy, the silver medallist in the sprint at last year's Kazan world championships, set a Commonwealth and Australian record time of 47.04 seconds to blitz his rivals in Adelaide.

McEvoy's time was just 0.13 secs outside the 2009 world record held by Brazilian Cesar Cielo (46.91secs).

Rising star Kyle Chalmers, 17, claimed the second qualifying place in the race for Rio in 48.03secs, with London Olympics silver medallist Magnussen finishing fourth in 48.68secs.

It was a sensational time by McEvoy, 21, smashing Eamon Sullivan's Australian record by one-100ths of a second and the third-best time in the 100m freestyle event.

"I had some good words of advice leading into this race and it was pretty much that a lot of the best swimmers in the world, both past and present, get up behind the blocks and just put up the curtains on either side of the lane," McEvoy said.

"So I did that and I guess it paid off."

McEvoy, who was 17 when he went to his first Olympics in London, is now a strong gold-medal contender for the event in Rio in August.

"I went to London and I was Kyle's age. It's going to be a different experience and I have just got to treat it like any other competition," he said.

"I shouldn't race it any differently, why fix something that's not broken?

"I have just got to go back and train my hardest and hope I can improve a little bit more."

Chalmers continued his dramatic improvement to take second placing ahead of James Roberts and Magnussen, who was fighting back from a shoulder injury.

"Tough race, I did everything I could physically to get back in shape," Magnussen said.

"Obviously, I'm pretty shattered but I have just got to go home, soak that in and get ready for the 50m freestyle tomorrow.

"Those guys just raced a better race tonight and I couldn't keep up with them and that's how strong Australian swimming is at the moment.

"It's going to be a cracking relay team for the Olympics."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'McEvoy sets blistering pace, Magnussen out'. Subscribe