Water whisperer McEvoy will lead Australia charge: Thorpe

Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:49am EDT
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By Sudipto Ganguly

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Cameron McEvoy has that rare ability to bend water to his will and the sprinter could help Australia to a bumper haul of swimming medals at the Rio Games, five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has told Reuters.

McEvoy posted a time of 47.04 seconds in the 100 meters freestyle at Australia's Olympic trials in April, the fastest recorded since synthetic suits were banned at the end of 2009.

That put the 22-year-old among the favorites for Rio's blue riband sprint in August and to Thorpe was evidence that being a champion swimmer is about more than just physique.

"He is one of the most exciting swimmers I have seen," Thorpe, who won five gold, three silver and a bronze medal at the Sydney and Athens Olympics, told Reuters in an interview.

While McEvoy, at 1.85m, is still towered over by many of his rivals, Thorpe said his technique and affinity with the water set him apart.

"I think people who are very successful in swimming are those that can capture the water, they learn how the water moves and how you can move within it," he added.

"A lot of people look to physical characteristics to explain people's brilliance and it really has very little to do with this.

"And with someone like Cameron McEvoy's stature, it shows those people 'I want to master the water.'"   Continued...

Australia's Cameron Mcevoy starts in the men's 100m freestyle final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 6, 2015.   REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke