Magnussen lands sprint double

2012-03-21 14:50

Adelaide - James Magnussen ended an extraordinary week by claiming the sprint double at the Australian Olympic trials with his third consecutive personal best time in the 50m freestyle on Wednesday.

The world champion, who swam within 0.19 seconds of the 100m freestyle world record on Monday, hit the wall in 21.74 to touch out Eamon Sullivan (21.92) to claim a second individual swim at this year's London Games.

In three swims in the 50m helter-skelter at the trials, 'The Missile,' as Magnussen is dubbed, has carved a massive 0.67 off his best one-lap time to set the year's best time in the event.

"Good finish to the week. That's six races now, six wins, so I'm very happy with the week," Magnussen said.

Magnussen added he was surprised at how he was reeling off personal best times in the 50m, which he considers his second string event to the 100m in which he became world champion in Shanghai last year.

"I am really surprised about the time. At the start of the week my coach and I said around 22.2 would be a realistic goal for the 50," he said.

"I'm not exactly sure where the speed is coming from but I'm glad to have it."

Magnussen said he was confident he could lower his 100m time from the 47.10 he set in winning the 100m event at the trials.

"I'm sure a lot of people will sit up and take notice of the 50m time," he declared.

"It tells me that I can get down even quicker again in the 100m.

"It's hard to explain the 50m to the 100m, it's a different stroke, but the way I'm feeling at the moment I feel I can get out faster again if I am going to break that (100m) world record."

Sullivan, the former 100m freestyle world record holder, put behind a nightmare three years of injuries and surgeries to grab an individual swim at London in August as runner-up.

"After just qualifying for the 100m relay for me was all I was expecting from this meet and I guess already having that pressure off helped me come in pretty relaxed. Top two is fantastic," he said.

"The only thing that got me through those last three years, the injuries and the setbacks, the time out of the water was the thought of London, so to finally get there it's a massive reward and it's why we swim."

Geoff Huegill's comeback bid for the Olympics ended when he finished fifth and out of the top two qualifying spots in the 100m butterfly.

Chris Wright gained his second individual butterfly swim at the Games with victory in 51.67 ahead of Jayden Hadler (52.09) and Matt Targett (52.24).

Two-time Olympic medallist Huegill, 33, was fifth in 52.50 and said he was unsure whether he would continue swimming, having made a return after shedding 45kg to claim gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Belinda Hocking will swim in both backstroke events in London after winning the 200m final in 2:06.68 from Meagen Nay.

Kylie Palmer claimed the distance freestyle double with victory in the 800m in 8:26.60 and will be joined in London by Jessica Ashwood.

Three-time Olympic champion Libby Trickett boosted her hopes of an individual spot at the Olympics when she was third-fastest in the semi-finals with 24.86 in the 50m freestyle behind the Campbell sisters, Cate (24.55) and Bronte (24.78).