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Mon Apr 21 16:54:14 SAST 2014

Magnussen plans Olympic trials 'message'

Sapa-AFP | 13 February, 2012 10:320 Comments
World champion James Magnussen of Australia reacts after the men's 100 metre freestyle event at the New South Wales swimming championships in Sydney February 10, 2012
Image by: Daniel Munoz / REUTERS

Australia’s world champion James Magnussen says he wants to send a strong message to his rivals ahead of the London Games with a sizzling 100m freestyle time at next month’s Olympic trials.

Magnussen, dubbed ’The Missile’, became a top favourite for the Olympic gold medal after he came from fifth at the turn to win the 100m sprint crown in 47.63 seconds at last year’s Shanghai world championships.

He became the first Australian man to win the title since the world championships were established in 1973 and broke the nation’s 43-year drought over the distance following Mike Wenden’s win at the 1968 Olympics.

While Magnussen won the 100m at the New South Wales Championships in Sydney last Friday in 49.02secs, he plans to be making waves in five weeks at the national Olympic trials in Adelaide.

“It’s really frustrating, swimming all right but not being able to reach my full potential,” Magnussen told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“All I want to do is get down in those low 47secs and just throw  a cat amongst the pigeons, worldwide.

“A really quick swim at trials would turn heads a little and just keep me on the front foot and constantly keeping people guessing, so that’s where I want to be.”   

Magnussen has said he wants to break the 46.91secs world record of Brazilian Cesar Cielo.

After he swam 48.05secs in Adelaide two weeks ago, he thought there might be a chance of breaking the world record at the Olympic  trials, but he concedes it might have to wait until the Olympics in July.

“If you’d asked me after my 100m in Adelaide I would have said for sure,” he said of breaking the record at the trials.

“This week I’ve reassessed a little. It really depends on how much we taper (ease the training workload) for the trials and if we save that massive taper for Olympics.

“At this stage I think we’d be happy with somewhere around the worlds’ time or a little bit quicker at trials, and then do a big taper for Olympics and have a real crack at that record.”   

Magnussen also confirmed he would not be swimming the 200m freestyle event at the Olympic trials, to be staged from March 15-22.

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