James Magnussen will get another chance at redemption when the Australian swimming team cranks up its Commonwealth Games preparation in Brisbane.
World champion James Magnussen will get another chance at redemption when the Australian Commonwealth Games swimming team tunes up for Glasgow at Grand Prix II in Brisbane.
Magnussen walked away without a medal from April’s national titles in Brisbane after being upstaged by the unheralded Cameron McEvoy in the 100m freestyle final.
And Magnussen has remained a frustrated man since the whippet-like McEvoy reeled in the Olympic silver medallist over two laps at their first Glasgow warm-up, the recent Grand Prix I in Canberra.
But Magnussen will hope a return to the scene of his initial national titles upset will inspire him when the 59-strong Glasgow team gather for a vital hitout at Brisbane’s Chandler Pool on Friday.
Then again, that might be easier said than done after head coach Jacco Verhaeren again mixed up the competition format.
After dividing the squad into three competing teams in Canberra, Verhaeren has organised a meet that is “designed to challenge both coaches and athletes ahead of their major competitions”.
Under the format for Brisbane, 50m events will be timed finals and used as qualifiers for the 4x50m freestyle and medley relays.
The 100m and 200m events will have only the top three swimmers qualify for the medal final with the next eight fastest moving into a B final.
“With this new format, the athletes will face a different kind of challenge which will benefit the quality of racing and team culture amongst our swimmers,” Verhaeren said.
“This is great for our team to be able to practise race specific skills in a highly competitive environment.
In distance events, the women’s 800m freestyle will morph into 600m and the men’s 1500m freestyle into 900m – completed in 200m and 300m intervals respectively with the winner decided by the total sum of the times.
“Having the distance events swum as intervals will mix things up and will give the swimmers some high quality distance practise against strong opposition and will allow them to add another element of hard work to their major meet preparation”, said Verhaeren.
Open water swimmers will also attend and be tested in a 3000m pool swim on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, Swimming Australia confirmed it would hold pre-Rio Olympic and Paralympic staging camps in the US at Auburn University in 2016.
Australian Olympian Brett Hawke is the Auburn University swimming program head coach.