World champion James Magnussen and rising star Emma McKeon have sent an ominous pre-Glasgow Games warning at the French Open.
Bridesmaid honours have again gone to James Magnussen but the world swimming champion will still head to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games full of confidence.
And teammate Emma McKeon is on track to become Australia’s Glasgow golden girl after also impressing at the French Open weekend meet at Vichy.
Still smarting from missing out on a national title at the Glasgow selection trials, Magnussen again failed to top the podium at Vichy on Sunday (AEST) but still stood tall after being pipped for 50m freestyle gold.
Magnussen (22.07 seconds) was edged out by London Olympic champion Florent Manaudou of France (21.71) but finished ahead of Brazil’s world record holder Cesar Cielo (22.16).
It was a another shot in the arm for Magnussen after he claimed a dominant 100m freestyle win in 48.55 on Saturday, albeit in a final without “no show” Cielo.
Magnussen – who holds 2014’s world best 47.59 – finished well ahead of Manaudou (49.15) in his pet event.
Magnussen skipped the final grand prix meet in Brisbane recently in favour of the French Open, where he received a huge pre-world titles confidence boost last year.
Still rattled by his 2012 London Olympic debacle, Magnussen said his impressive 100m win in France gave him a timely dose of self-belief ahead of his 2013 world titles defence.
And it may yet have done the trick again this year after his last pre-Games hit-out in Australia – another grand prix meet in Brisbane – was derailed by suspected food poisoning.
Magnussen will have Australian teammate Cameron McEvoy in his sights at Glasgow after the 20-year-old stole the show at the nationals, taking the 100m-200m double and 50m silver.
Another 20 year old – McKeon – is suddenly on her Glasgow rivals’ radar thanks to her French Open heroics.
McKeon – who could win six gold in Scotland – finished her Vichy campaign by giving Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands a mighty scare in the 100m freestyle on Sunday.
Kromowidjojo (53.71) pipped McKeon (53.93) in the two lap dash.
McKeon was still buzzing from dead heating for 200m freestyle gold with Hungarian Katinka Hosszu (one minute, 56.40 seconds) on Saturday (AEST).
McKeon is the hot 200m Glasgow favourite after clocking 2014’s world No.2 time of 1:55.68.
McKeon backed up on Saturday to claim 100m butterfly silver.
Meanwhile, Australia’s David McKeon won the 200m freestyle on Sunday and 400m silver on Saturday.