McEvoy magnificent but 'Missile' misses Rio target

Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:09am EDT
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Cameron McEvoy will head to the Rio Games brimful of confidence after storming to the Australian 100 metres freestyle title at the Olympic trials on Monday but former world champion James Magnussen failed to book his ticket for the blue riband event.

McEvoy, runner-up at the world championships in Kazan last year, was lightning out of the blocks and posted a time of 47.04 seconds, the fastest recorded since synthetic suits were banned at the end of 2009.

The swim also eclipsed compatriot Eamon Sullivan's mark of 47.05 seconds at the Beijing Games in 2008, a then-world record only bettered by Alain Bernard (46.94) and current holder Cesar Cielo (46.91) in synthetic suits the following year.

Australian long-distance swimming great Grant Hackett described 21-year-old McEvoy's swim as "unequivocally the greatest" seen in the event.

McEvoy said he had taken good words of advice leading into the meeting.

"A lot of the best swimmers past and present get up behind the blocks and just put up the curtains either side of the lanes and I did that and I guess it paid off," he said in a pool-side interview.

"(Rio's) going to be a different experience but I've just got to treat it like any other competition."

Junior world champion and runner-up Kyle Chalmers was nearly a second behind McEvoy but booked the second Olympic berth in the individual event.

The impressive 17-year-old upstaged James Roberts and fourth-placed Magnussen, who was crestfallen after failing to qualify in his favourite event on his 25th birthday.   Continued...

Australia's Cameron Mcevoy swims in a men's 200m freestyle heat during the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia  August 3, 2015.      REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke