Burners About To Be Bolted Back On Missile James Magnussen For 2016 Race Return

James Magnussen, right, and Cameron McEvoy - back in the fray together - courtesy of Swimming Australia

James Magnussen, the Australian who is the fastest 100m man ever in a textile suit, is going the distance in training once more and on the cusp of a return to full intensity after back surgery in June, his sights set on going “one better than last time”: meaning, Olympic gold four years after silver…

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

James Magnussen, the Australian who is the fastest 100m man ever in a textile suit, is going the distance in training once more and on the cusp of a return to full intensity after back surgery in June, his sights set on going “one better than last time”: meaning, Olympic gold four years after silver… […]



At this point, this is all talk. He and everyone else will not know if he will be a viable proposition until he proves he can handle the high intensity work.

As for the AUS M 4X100 for Rio; everything centres around Magnussen. Even with him, the depth is marginal with McEvoy, Chalmers and Abood. Take him out and you are then having to rely on the likes of D’Orsogna whose 4×100 outings of 2014 & 2015 clearly demonstrated how far he can be relied upon.

In short; no Magnussen = qualifying a M 4X100 for Rio highly marginal. Making Rio final – very debateable.

Craig Lord

Yes, CWbat, we’ll see it when we see it. Without him, it will indeed be a scrap just to get through, though even that is supposition, given that we can’t know where young Chalmers will be come April next year, nor indeed where McEvoy might have got to (to me, he looks like a man who can go beyond where he’s gone so far).


Completely concur. Chalmers is at that stage where it can all come to a grinding halt just as easily as he may continue to track upwards.

Vey much agree re McEvoy. If anything, he’s only hinted at what he could deliver over 100; that WTF anchor on Kazan medley relay case in point. Over 200, he remains somewhat of an enigma. He promises a lot but has yet to get it fully together.


I was waiting for Commonwombat to play down Australia’s chances as soon as I saw this article about Magnussen … and he did not disappoint me 😀

I know it’s a reverse-jinx thing, CW. As an Italian, I deeply understand it.

Now the serious part: I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Missile. The sprint freestyle world needs him. The final in Kazan was slow because he wasn’t in the pool.


Therea; I don’t wear any kind of patriotic blinkers and I’m merely calling things as I see them with regards to the facts that are before me.

A fit and in-form Magnussen would certainly be one of the key players in Rio. One hopes that will be the case; as to whether that eventuates we cannot know as yet.

The AUS M4X100 – the facts spoke for themselves in Kazan.

BTW, despite the Wombat nickname I’m only a half an Aussie. The other half is Sth African and I’m as cold blooded about them as I am the Aussies … or anyone else.

Craig Lord

That’s the way to be CWbat 🙂


That is the way to be if you don’t care. The whole excitement of being a sport fan is the possibility to be associated in one way or another with somebody else’s success. I am with Luigi on this. 🙂

Craig Lord

Nonsense, Yozhik: we are all associated, as humans. I am not Russian, nor am I American, nor am I Australian but if you tell me that I don’t care or can’t thrill at the win and skill of a Popov, a Phelps, a Thorpe and appreciate the work of Touretski, Bowman and Frost, I’ll tell you you’ve misunderstood me by a very wide margin 🙂 In your scenario, I have no connection to Jesse Owens yet when I wrote a chapter for an Olympic book about the life of Lutz Long, I did so through tears – the feeling and appreciation for both men equal, their humanity and understanding of that status in relation to each other our common bond. The rest, the thing that divided them, was where you might bring up a lack of care (though hatred is a form of care, one might argue).


🙂 🙂 Damn it. I was expecting credits for such “a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection”. And what did I get instead? 🙂 :)
🙂 If someone asks me how I can picture Craig Lord other than a journalist I will answer without hesitation. It won’t be a social worker or a therapist – gentle people who can be of no use but at least are nice to you. But a Prosecutor or a Surgeon – arguing with them can have dare consequences.
Oh, you do care as commonwombat does. If he doesn’t have any patriotic associations as Luigi has, that’s fine. I just don’t see any reason for you saying that that is the only right way how sport fan has to be involved in sport. With his incredible vocabulary and perfectly stated postings he may want to look like dissociated observer who in cold blood dissects sport events for scientific pleasure only. But I still hope that he gets emotionally involved as well and does have his favorites and get pleased when they won and gets upset otherwise.

Craig Lord

Yozhik; you are your own prosecutor. It was you who ‘took sides’, if you recall. I don’t say ‘that is the only right way’. What I wrote was ‘that’s the way to be’. And that’s how I feel. The argument came from you. Meaning of ‘that’s the way to be’: that would be my preference and it is the way to avoid some of the worst of sports-fan mentality. My experience in swimming is that many are happy to see high achievement wherever it comes from but of course would like to see their own countrymen and women excel (and win).


Predictions this far out are meaningless, I could say the Aussies will go 1 2 3 in Rio, not as farfetched as some may believe, Yes am Australian and support the green and gold before anyone else, but also respect and admire the achievements of others.


Yozhik, we all look upon things through different eyes and, as we are all “put together differently” with different temperaments and different life experiences which “colour them”.

I am a lawyer and have also been a sports official on Olympic teams. These call on me to be analytical. This, and the fact that I’m somewhat of a ‘half-caste’ probably tend to come across in the way I view things and express certain, but not all views.

In no way do I devalue your right to think differently or view things through “different eyes”. I have no issue with people being passionate in their support or wanting to see their team/favourites win.

What I do hope is that they are sufficiently ‘fair minded’ to acknowledge quality whatever it’s source and show grace when their team/favourite is fairly beaten. Most are ……. its the “cheer leader” or bigot wearing “blinkers” that I object to.


‘Chalmers is at that stage where it can all come to a grinding halt just as easily as he may continue to track upwards.’

You can say that about every young swimmer in the world. Even Michael Phelps just after 2000 Olympics. Of course for every Phelps, many have fallen by the wayside.

As for Chalmers, fastest 17 year ever, I would rather see the latter & see great potential develop into greatness.


I’m with you Gheko, I would love to see a young Aussie come out of the blue to beat Phelps & Le Clos for gold in RIO next year.

This does not mean I don’t respect those swimmers, far from it.

Based on form, there is no hope for any Aussie, but based on Commonwombat theory, as great as Phelps & Le Clos is, they could lose form, have an injury, in Phelps’s case lose out in the trails.


Just to make things clear:

1) I was just teasing CW. I noted that in several posts he raises doubts about the quality of the Australian team and came up with the reverse-jinx thing (in my country some people believe that by downplaying your chances you keep bad luck away). It was really light-hearted on my side.
2) I do not think you have to wear “patriotic blinkers” in order to cheer for your country-fellows. Take me. I will be extremely happy if, for example, Greg Paltrinieri or Fede should medal in Rio; but if a great performance from, say, Mack Horton or Missy should tip either one off the podium, I will still be a happy swimmer fan, because I have witnessed greatness. When a great swimmer comes along I just don’t care about nationality. I idolized Matt Biondi, then Popov, then Thorpe, then Natalie Coughlin and Phelps, and many others over the years.


Rob, you’re 100% correct. No one has 100% prescience on what may happen.

My point is that he is still essentially an Age-grouper who’s leapt ahead into seniors and whilst we can all name those who’ve progressed on to the very top; there’s also been untold numbers of “comets” who’ve “flamed out” just as quickly.

Here’s hoping Chalmers is the former and not the latter. The first 3-4 months of 2016 will tell us a lot.

Therea; wasn’t offended and had no suspicion of malicious intent in your comment. I certainly plead guilty to being hard-nosed about the AUS men’s side but I’m not discriminating; I’m just as cold blooded on the state of the Brits and certain Americans !!

Class is class and it crosses all borders. If a class-act Australian does well. I’m happy for them ditto for a South African, Italian, Dutch, whoever. Correspondingly, if someone has proven themselves a complete XXXXXX (and every country has had their share of them); I’d rather see them get their backsides kicked.


So much negative chatter…

The guy is just getting back into training and looking forward to Rio, ’nuff said

Why can’t people just be optimistic these days without other people trying to bring down their spirits..


As for the aussies going 123 in Rio will not happen because we all know only 2 swimmers per nation! lol


I just think that constructive criticism (if any?) is good to an extent but you have to draw the line somewhere so people can still enjoy looking forward to the swim events instead of being overly critical and negative about it


Verram, folk were responding to the article Craig wrote. I don’t believe anyone here wishes Maggie ill; far from it. I doubt there’s anyone who comments on these pages who doesn’t want to see him back, fully fit and competing at the very top.

Sadly that is NOT a done deal; nothing is. The fact that this is essentially a “Take Two” at coming back from these back issues has to give one legitimate grounds for concern on this score, even if one does not publically admit it.

Here’s hoping this does pan out well for Magnussen; for his own sake, the AUS team as a whole and for those who want to see the best racing the best.


@commonwombat. If you possess an analytical skill then you have to look at Luigi’s friendly (he’s never said anything unpleasant about anybody neither here nor at any other forums) as a gentle warning bell. That there is some pattern in your comments observed by others. The pattern that you may want to get rid of. Besides patriotic blinkers there are plenty of other kinds that may make your eyes different. Within your field of vision your logic can look bullet-proof, but your conclusions are in no way hundred percent certain. So why not to leave some room for optimism for many people like Verram. We all know that we will die someday, but nobody believe that it is actually coming, not even those who have a few days left.


@Craig. The reason of introducing mathematical notations is imperfection of human language (e. g. similarly constructed words like vegetarian and humanitarian have a completely different meaning 🙂 ). If you say – that is the way I am, commonwombat. It makes two of us. Let me shake your hand on that – then there would be no confusion.
Of course I am taking sides. Competitive sport is about competition and spectators who may interested in dry analytical observations, but it comes secondary. If you just want to enjoy athletic human abilities, then go to the circus where nobody care who the artists are.
We won’t probably see common wombat screaming, jumping, hugging, making wave on stands or sharing excitement in sport bars or sitting next to the flow or ice or pool to feel the electricity of the tension in the air. Because he probably doesn’t care and that is what I suggested.
As analytical ‘half-caste’ I don’t see any reason for and have no empathy to tears of the champion when anthem of his country is playing in his honor. I don’t understand the madness of multimillion Chicago starting wearing Black Hawks jerseys after winning Stanley Cup. The people who didn’t even know yesterday what the ice hockey game is all about felt themselves a member of big family. I wasn’t a part of this celebration and regretted that I may miss something in my life.

Craig Lord

The greater family is human, Yozhik. The world has long been conditioned to confine itself within borders real, emotional, intellectual and imaginary. The rest beyond human is lesser and restrictive for me in terms of celebrating human achievement 🙂


It is very deep Craig to discuss it here having as opponents a lawyer and the prominent journalist. My point was very simple. I don’t know the conditions within Australian swimming community, but if a swimmers or team have passed qualification process then there is a belief that they will represent their country successfully. It will help them very much to be encouraged by fans who love them and believe they will do everything up to their abilities. They don’t need constant objective reminders that they are next to nothing. They are Olympian and if it would be a chance they should be ready for it. What Chinese do with their banners makes much more sense to me than “doomsday prophesies”. If someone doesn’t have “patriotic blinkers” it proves one thing only. This person will not have a heart attack should his favorites lose. “Нет худа без добра” 🙂

Craig Lord

I see reason to celebrate lots of silver linings, set against an understanding and acknowledgement that gold is the prize all would wish to land, Yozhik 🙂 You may well be right about love and fans – and certainly athletes talk about the importance of feeling they have a nation, a people etc at their back. That said, there is a hefty weight of evidence that some have thought far too deeply about that love and the responsibility that they feel goes with it – and have fallen shy of their best and their potential as a result. I don’t object to banners and flags but I do see the folly in having such things worn as blinkers and blindfolds, as they too often are.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!