Australia’s Cameron McEvoy has upset a quality field including world champion James Magnussen to claim 100m freestyle Pan Pacs gold.
The stage was set for world champion James Magnussen to exact more revenge on his London Olympic tormentor Nathan Adrian at the Pan Pacific championships on the Gold Coast on Friday night.
But it seems someone forgot to tell his Australian teammate Cameron McEvoy.
Experts tipped an in-form Magnussen to back up his 2013 world 100m title victory and again upstage his London Olympic conqueror Adrian of the US despite battling a “pretty dodgy” back complaint.
However, McEvoy, 20, had other ideas, clocking a meet record 47.82 seconds to grab 100m gold ahead of Adrian (48.30) and Magnussen (48.36).
But normal service resumed in the women’s 100m freestyle as Australia’s world champion Cate Campbell (52.72) nabbed gold ahead of sister Bronte (53.45).
McEvoy had announced himself as a global force by upsetting dual world champion Magnussen at the 2014 national titles.
Still, few backed McEvoy to shine in a 100m Pan Pacs field also boasting Olympic great Michael Phelps (4th; 48.51).
However, McEvoy was the name on everyone’s lips after the 100m final.
Instead of beating himself up, Magnussen gave himself a rap after overcoming chronic back problems to make the 100m podium.
“This time a week ago, I had all but ruled myself out,” Magnussen said.
“I was in hospital getting an epidural and a couple of cortisones – I wasn’t in a good way.
“I thought they only gave epidurals to women who had babies.
“So I was really worried when they gave me that one.”
Still Magnussen did not consider pulling out of the Pan Pacs.
“You only get a few times in your lifetime to represent your country so I was pretty determined to swim tonight,” he said.
“I put it on the line tonight – it was all I had.”
Adrian admitted McEvoy’s heroics had blown the 100m race wide open.
“It’s silly to think James and I are going to be winning every time – it’s not a two-man game anymore,” he said.
Cate Campbell reasserted her dominance in the 100m.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom eclipsed Campbell’s 2014 world-best time with a remarkable 52.67s winning effort at the European championships in Berlin on Wednesday.
But Campbell made it clear who was the 100m benchmark with her 52.62s heats effort on Friday, edging out younger sibling Bronte (53.50).
And she was not to be denied in the final.
“I almost don’t want a break before Rio (2016 Olympics),” Cate said.
“But I will take some time off (before 2015 world titles) but everything is looking really good.”
Bronte added: “I don’t know if I am getting used to being second but I am getting used to racing at an elite level.”
Australia’s Bronte Barratt, Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger (7:47.47) claimed silver in the women’s 4x200m freestyle behind world champions the US (meet record 7:46.40).
Australia’s David McKeon, McEvoy, Mack Horton and Thomas Fraser-Holmes (7:08.55) claimed bronze in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay behind the Michael Phelps-led US (7:05.17).
Australia’s Keryn McMaster (4:38.84) took 400m IM bronze behind American Elizabeth Beisel (meet record 4:31.99) while Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (4:08.31) claimed the men’s crown.
American Jessica Hardy (1:06.74) won 100m women’s breaststroke gold while Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (59.62) claimed the men’s crown.