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"I might go and bang my head against a couple of walls": Missile misfires at Rio trials


At first, James Magnussen dared to dream.

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Up on the giant screen at the Rio swimming trials in Adelaide last night Magnussen had placed second in the 50m freestyle final, technically keeping his slim Rio hopes alive.

A top-two spot within the qualifying time would ensure the dual world champion a last-gasp individual Rio berth.

Suddenly Magnussen appeared to have a foot in the door.

It slammed shut just as quickly.

A technical glitch was corrected, promptly dropping Magnussen to third in the placings behind winner Cameron McEvoy and Matt Abood.

To add further insult, Magnussen (22.12) was outside the Olympic qualifying time of 22.00 anyway – the man dubbed “The Missile” had officially misfired.

He will sweat on his fate until the Rio team is officially confirmed by head coach Jacco Verhaeren tonight.

He is expected to be named as a 4x100m relay swimmer.

However, he will not receive a chance to avenge his shock London 100m freestyle silver finish in 2012.

At Adelaide he missed a spot in his pet event, the 100m freestyle, by placing fourth in the final.

Magnussen’s bold quest to bounce back from shoulder surgery that had ruled him out of the 2015 world titles had ended.

However, he refused to make excuses.

“It [my shoulder] was tight. Man it didn’t feel good but, what can you do?” Magnussen said.

“I think I’ve been struggling as the week goes, just having trouble getting through it.”

Asked if the shoulder had caused more problems at the Rio trials than he had let on, Magnussen said: “I guess so.”

“I mean you can never come into a meet like this with a negative mindset,” he said.

“I’ve stayed positive the last nine months and I’m going to continue to try to stay positive otherwise I might go and bang my head against a couple of walls.”


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