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Magnussen records blazing time in 100m freestyle heat in Barcelona

July 31, 2013
James Magnussen after his 100m freestyle heat in Barcelona.

James Magnussen after his 100m freestyle heat in Barcelona.

James Magnussen fired a warning shot in his 100m freestyle world title defence blasting the field with a 47.71 seconds heat time which was faster than his relay lead off swim three days earlier.

The superstar Australian sprinter buried the disappointment of his 48.00s relay lead off with a comfortable victory that showed the rest of the world he had come to Spain in top form.

Poland’s Konrad Czerniak was second fastest in 48.50s, while Australia’s Cameron McEvoy was sixth in 48.59s just ahead of Russian contender Vladimir Morozov (48.67s) and reigning Olympic champ Nathan Adrian who was 12th in 48.93s.

Magnussen, 22, said he was blocking all emotion out of his racing in a bid to defend his world crown.

“I’m just keeping my emotions out of it this year. So each swim I leave it in the water and I look towards the next one,” he said.

“I’m not sure what happened with the first one, it’s just one of those things. If there is one saying that is getting me through at the moment it is “it is what it is”.

“I’m just going to stay as emotionless as I can through these next two swims and just get the job done.

“As soon as I finish my race I just keep looking forward because as soon as you start dwelling on something your week can snowball.”

One big difference Magnussen has this year, as opposed to his London Olympic meltdown, is the support network within the team.
Magnussen said it was impossible to compare the feeling within the swim team to 12 months earlier when he was deemed a divisive figure because  of the favourable treatment he’d received from team officials.

“You really can’t compare it, last year after the relay it felt like I caught the plague. No-one wanted to talk to me,” Magnussen said.

“Me and (coach) Brant (Best) pretty much went it alone.

“But this year you know as soon as that race was over the team gave me a pat on the back and said move on and you know it’s just such good camaraderie and team morale that it’s making the week go a lot quicker than it did last year.”

McEvoy looked sharp in his heat swim, showing no signs of fatigue after a busy schedule which included placing seventh in last night’s 200m freestyle final.

The Gold Coast teenager is confident he can lift again for tonight’s semi-finals and secure a spot in the final.

“It was a good back up after last night, quickest heat swim I’ve ever done so it was good, went through the motions and all that, so looking forward to tonight,” he said.

“I need to swim my own race first lap, I’ve got a good last lap and put my head down and go after that turn.”

In other heat action this morning 100m silver medallist Emily Seebohm just scraped into the semi-finals of the 50m backstroke with a time of 28.48 seconds, while Belinda Hocking missed the cut off in 21st position in 28.80s.

Chinese duo Yuanhui Fu (27.55s) and world record holder Jing Zhao (27.81s) led the way through the early rounds.

Medley swimmers Daniel Tranter and Kenneth To both qualified for the semi-finals of the 200 IM, with Tranter in eighth place in 1:58.76 and To claiming 11th spot in 1:59.21.

news.com.au

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