Monday, 19 March 2012

James Magnussen Shakes The 100m Free World Record (With Video and Post Race Comments)

"There's a missile heading to London and it's set to explode in the Olympic pool!"

UPDATE: Here's the extended post race interview from Magnussen.

Here it is. The swim of 2012 so far. A swim that Australian's will watch with joy, and Magnussen's competitor's will look at with dread.

The Missile split 22.68 to his feet and came back in 24.42. His homecoming split virtually matched that of his previous textile best time from Shanghai (24.39). The area where Magnussen has improved is the speed at which he hits the first wall (22.68 compared to 23.10 in Shanghai).

The power that Magnussen generates in his stroke is off the charts. His stroke rate is noticeably slower than his competitors on the first 50m (except James Roberts in lane 3) but he gets to the wall well ahead of them.

Where we stand now is that Magnussen is going out in the same blazing speed that Cesar Cielo did in Shanghai, but is also bringing it home in the same other wordly time that he did at Worlds. There wasn't much doubt before, but the Australian confirmed today that his talent in the 100m Free is unique.

Make no mistake, taking into account the benefit that the techsuits gave this is the greatest 100m Freestyle we've ever seen.

Huge thanks to 101stutube for the video.


  1. Wow - awesome to watch. Great swims from the Jameses.

    Also, 48.32 from Targett unshaved! I think USA and France have a LOT of work to do.

  2. That wasn't totally unshaved, even if his face makes it look like it. Targett isn't stupid.

    1. Agreed, though I feel that Targett also felt that 48.3 would probably get the job done, Roberts probably really took him by surprise.

      Do your views on Magnussen/Relay prospects change from last week in the light of today's races?

    2. No James 2 has been the faster in 2011. Matt is the proven performer which was needed in the relay.

  3. Michael Klim via twitter:
    "Australia just assembled the best 4x100 ever no one will get close forget guitars these boys will bring home the Gold and create history!"

    aka "fuel" for the US boys.

    1. LOL.

      Too right!

      How did Klim forget that that sort of talk from Hall jr fueled Australia (which included himself) in 2000??

    2. I just randomly punched in some times on my calculator that didn't seem to bea stretch of the imagination: 46.8, 46.9, 47.4, 47.8. This comes out to 3:08.9. On the other hand no configuration of splits that we've seen from France or US has put them under 3:10.

      Australia must be hoping hard that Robert hasn't pull a Marco Di Carli '11 and fails to even come close at the Olympics. This is a legitimate concern, I feel that if these guys so much as maintains form, they could probably sneak a win even without improvement.

      My opinion, even as an American, on so called "fuel" is that its a justification of the efforts of winners. It's almost "in your face" contra-trash talking. Did lezak, in the last 20 seconds of his Beijing leg, so much as thing about what Bernard has said? If Adrian is 0.5 behind the Australian anchor in London, will he be thinking "damm, they guys popped amazing times in March". No I think motivation matters in the preparation. Phelps, Lochte, Adrian, and WeberGale probably all switched the number on their goal sheets from 47.9 to 47.4 as soon as Magnussen showed the world it was possible. In my opinion, this "fuel" only helps in training. Coming out of worlds, the US team said that they only needed to swim "well", not "extraordinary" to win this relay in London, well for now the target seems to have shifted from 310.5 to 309. I have doubts of whether 4 months will be enough to make that happen.

    3. Great point John.

      What I think Magnussen and Roberts' swims will do are confirm the change that we all knew was coming, the focus on the 2nd 50m. Cielo has already shown that he is trying to make the transition. I think Magnussen has single-handedly moved the event on 3-4 years.

      I can't wait to see the US and French guys responses at their respective trials.

    4. Good analysis John.
      I think Roberts has shown last year, with an improvement from trials to World's semis, and now an improvement from World's to trials, that he can do it.
      The quartet at the top this year (and add McEvoy too) are stronger than last year's foursome by a margin.
      I think McEvoy will show a lot of improvement, and I don't doubt that Targett and Sullivan will be aiming to be faster.

      I think realistically, some of the team may improve their times, others may plateau, but they will surely be faster than last year.

      The relay is on day 1 right?
      THat's 5 days from relay to final of the 100. What a stretch!

    5. The one person whose opinion I am really interested in hear is Rowdy Gaines'. I think the swimming blogsphere would really be galvanized if Rowdy becomes like Ato Boldon for track and regularly puts up his opinions of events on Twitter. Rowdy is often proAmerican, but I personally feel this is somewhat fabricated for the media. I would have trouble believing he has any more faith in Americans winning the relay than I do.

      Also, the relay is on night 2.

      @ Tom,
      I agree with you on the shift to 3-4 years ahead. Of course we'd have to see the results of the Olympics to be certain. The way its currently setting up, it looks like it may take 47.5 to medal with 7 to 8 other individuals poised to drop into the 47s.

      This is in complete contrast with 2010 where the 48 barrier was very difficult to break. I think we have witnessed a few things:
      1) getting used to swimming without suits and using what was learned about suits to improve performances, particularly in the first half of the race
      2) realizing that gains on the front half are limited, the capacity for improvements on the 2nd half are larger (realized through magnussen).

      I think 1) was realized in the transition from '10 to '11 and we saw a lot of swimmers drop from 48mid to 48.0, 48.1 and 48.2 swimmers. If Magnussen hadnt swum the way he did 2) may not have occurred yet evolutionarily.

      Its very interesting but I think we've seen it in a number of events were the field just suddenly gets faster in a very short period post suits: m100back, w100back, m200free(though more due to competition than anything else), w200free, m200breast

      and some are definitely in the cusp of happening: w100fly, w100free, w200free, w200fly, m100fly, m50free

      others dont seem to be happening and have not shown signs of it: ie womens breaststroke

  4. Michael Klim via twitter:
    "Australia just assembled the best 4x100 ever no one will get close forget guitars these boys will bring home the Gold and create history!"

    aka "fuel" for the US boys.

    1. But considering Roberts clocked the 2nd fastest textile swim ever and Sullivan and Targett are capable of low 48 swims its true...

  5. Wow. Wow, wow and wow again... He's only 20... This guy could take the 100 down to 46-low.

  6. I've just watched the video again.
    It seems Magnussen is very high in the water.