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Fraser-Holmes spurred by blocks tumble in Adelaide

April 26, 2013
 Thomas Fraser-Holmes can't believe it after falling from the blocks and being disqualified in the 400m heats at the world championships trials. Source: Getty Images

Thomas Fraser-Holmes can’t believe it after falling from the blocks and being disqualified in the 400m heats at the world championships trials. Source: Getty Images

If Thomas Fraser-Holmes is to complete his Ian Thorpe impersonation then he will come out today and absolutely blitz his favoured 200m freestyle event.

The rising Gold Coast swimmer replicated Thorpe’s dramatic 400m freestyle heat flop at yesterday’s opening day of the world championship trials, robbing the 21-year-old of an event in which he has enormous promise.

A 200m freestyle and 400m medley finalist in the London Olympics last year, Fraser-Holmes was seen as a real contender over the longer freestyle event, while training alongside Olympic champ Sun Yang.

But a slight jitter on the blocks, followed by a desperate attempt to hold his ground before rolling forward into the water, scuppered his 400m dreams.

It was identical to Thorpe’s infamous flop at the 2004 Olympic trials in Sydney, when his training partner Craig Stevens eventually stood aside to let the champion race for gold in Athens.
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Fraser-Holmes should have no trouble qualifying for this year’s Australian team, with new head men’s coach Michael Bohl tipping some fireworks from the youngster when today’s 200m freestyle heats commence.

“Obviously Tommy made a bit of a mistake and I’m sure he is going to be much tougher in his next race,” Bohl said.

“I’d hate to be doing the 200 freestyle tomorrow with him. He is going to get some vengeance back there I’m sure.”

It’s set to be a cracking 200m freestyle field, with world 100m champion James “Missile” Magnussen to make his debut in the four-lap event.

Magnussen does not have high expectations for the 200m, but would like to develop his skills over the distance so he could become a valuable relay member in coming years.

“I wouldn’t say I’m completely comfortable with the 200 and I think its going to be a massive challenge for me,” Magnussen said.

“But that is something that really excites me. Taking on a new challenge you know there’s some really experienced guys in that race and guys that are going to give me something to chase over the next couple of years.

“I don’t have any huge plans for it in the immediate future, but I’m really excited about the challenge and I’d love to be able to contribute to the team, if not this year, some time in the future in that event.”


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