James Magnussen fails to make Olympic 100m freestyle

James Magnussen
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James Magnussen, who finished .01 behind Nathan Adrian in the 2012 Olympic 100m freestyle, did not qualify for Rio in the event at the Australian Olympic Trials on Monday.

Magnussen, the 2011 and 2013 World champion, placed fourth at the Australian trials in Adelaide, needing to finish first or second to make the Rio Olympics in the individual 100m free.

“Obviously pretty shattered,” Magnussen said on Australian TV.

Cameron McEvoy won the trials in 47.04 seconds, an Australian record and the fastest-ever time outside of the high-tech swimsuit era. Kyle Chalmers, 17, was second in 48.03, followed by James Roberts (48.32) and Magnussen (48.68). Full results are here.

McEvoy broke Magnussen’s Australian textile record 47.10 set at the 2012 Olympic Trials. He inched close to Brazilian Cesar Cielo‘s 2009 world record of 46.91.

“I had some good words of advice leading into this race,” said McEvoy, who took silver at the 2015 World Championships in 47.95 behind China’s Ning Zetao (47.84). “A lot of the best swimmers in the world, past and present, get up behind the blocks and just put up the curtains when they decide the lanes. I did that. I guess it paid off.”

Magnussen did qualify for the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team by finishing in the top six Monday.

Magnussen, 25, had the fastest 100m free time in the world in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, but his best yearly time had gotten slower each of the past four years. He also missed the 2015 World Championships due to left shoulder surgery.

“I’ve done everything I could, physically, to get back in shape,” Magnussen said. “Those guys just raced a better race tonight. I couldn’t keep up with them. That’s how strong Australia swimming is at the moment.”

The Australians, like the Americans, shockingly failed to make the 2015 World Championships 4x100m free relay final.

In London, Magnussen swam a slow leadoff leg en route to the Australians finishing fourth in the 4x100m free relay.

Magnussen can still make the Australian Olympic team individually in the 50m freestyle. That final is Wednesday.

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