Swimming: Magnussen questions Australia's relay tactics
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[July 29, 2017]
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former 100
meters freestyle world champion James Magnussen has questioned
Australia's tactics in the relays at the world championships and
last year's Olympics, suggesting the fastest swimmer should always
A strong Australia squad has yet to claim a swimming gold medal at
the Budapest championships, winning a silver and bronze in the
women's relays and none at all in the men's.
Twice world champion Magnussen, who helped Australia to an Olympic
bronze in the 4x100 relay in Rio, decided to skip the meet to focus
on next year's Commonwealth Games and has been unimpressed by the
strategy deployed by the coaches.
"The relays are really confusing me this meet and they did again in
Rio," Magnussen told Fox Sports TV on Saturday.
"The other countries are leading off with their fastest swimmers,
putting leads on the rest of the field and then coming home strong
to win the gold.
"In each of the relays so far Australia has failed to lead off with
their fastest swimmers, have been behind from the first leg and have
then failed to feature in the medals in a couple of those events."
The men's 4x100m team, which swam the second fastest time in the
heats despite the absence of Magnussen and Olympic sprint champion
Kyle Chalmers, was unable to get on the podium.
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Australia's James Magnussen celebrates winning the gold medal in
men's 100m Freestyle final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in
Glasgow, Scotland, July 27, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
"It really does confuse me that ... we had Cameron
McEvoy, our fastest swimmer, swimming the third leg and by the time
it got to him we were already in fourth or fifth position,"
"There's not much you can do swimming in that, what we call, messy
water when you're behind.
"So I'd like to see Australia lead off with out fastest swimmers and
even if we don't win a medal, at least at the end of the race we
could say 'we were in with a shot'."
"I’m sure there are swimmers within those teams that are frustrated
with the order and selection of those relay teams and I’m sure
they’d be feeling the same way I did last year at the Rio Olympics."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ian Ransom)
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