Monday, July 25, 2011

Michael Phelps

MICHAEL Phelps senses Australian sprinter James Magnussen is something special.
Magnussen clocked an incredible 47.49 second swim in the opening leg of Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay gold medal win on Sunday night.
The 14-time Olympic champion was left in Magnussen's wake as the Australian swam the quickest 100m swim in a textile suit. The US was left shocked by "the Missile".
Phelps praised the 20-year-old's swim.
"I saw the split, he split that 100 pretty good. I think he was back in about 24.3 (seconds) coming home, so that's really good," Phelps said. "He's talented, young. I think it's going to make it exciting for the sport.
"Definitely adds something else to that relay, that's for sure."
Magnussen's goggles fogged up in his first swim against Phelps. Nevertheless, he created an unassailable lead for Australia to finish ahead of France and the US.
"This was my first race against Michael Phelps. I was pretty sure he would be swimming first so I was well prepared for that," Magnussen said.
"I was in lane two and I couldn't really see him.
"And I was breathing the other way on the way home, so I was pretty much swimming my own race. And my goggles fogged up so much I couldn't see much."
On the pool deck, the American coaches were stunned by the Port Macquarie boy's speed and wondered out loud: "Who is this guy?"
Magnussen started taking swimming seriously two years ago when he moved to Sydney to be guided by coach Brant Best. Over the past year he has transformed himself from a relay swimmer to winning his first 100m freestyle Australian title last April at age just 19.
Now he is a favourite to win gold in the 100m freestyle in Shanghai and to break a 43-year medal drought for Australia.
The last man to win 100m freestyle gold at a major championships was Michael Wenden at Mexico City in 1968.
Head coach Leigh Nugent thinks Magnussen has the ability to win another world championship gold medal.
"If it was (Sunday night) he would have won," Nugent said. "I think it would be hard to beat a time like that if he could reproduce it. Who knows? Relays bring some things out of people so he's certainly going to be a contender, no doubt about that."
Magnussen will swim in the 100m freestyle heats tomorrow.