Yet another dramatic mindset change looms for dual world champion James Magnussen after Cameron McEvoy sensationally claimed the national 100m freestyle title in Brisbane on Friday night.
Magnussen (47.92 seconds) admitted his preoccupation with breaking the 100m world record brought him unstuck as McEvoy completed the 100-200m double at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games trials in a personal best 47.65.
Remarkably, McEvoy’s 2014 world-best time would have pipped Magnussen for last year’s 100m world title and snapped up London Olympic bronze.
While McEvoy was ecstatic, Magnussen could not hide his frustration as he looked to once again reassess his approach.
Magnussen opted for a more humble look after his now infamous “brace yourselves” pre-London Games warning backfired, relegating him to 100m Olympic silver.
It earned him 2013 world titles gold but Magnussen sounded like someone who was headed back to the drawing board after his shock defeat in Brisbane.
“I will put that down to a learning experience,” he said.
“I just got stuck into the mind set of chasing a world record again.
“It brought me unstuck. I will go back to training and re-think that.
“I think I self destructed a little.”
Magnussen looked in ominous form when he clocked his fifth sub-48 second time in the 100m semis in Brisbane.
His 47.83 semis effort was just shy of what won him the 2013 world title (47.71).
It only added to pre-meet speculation from head coach Jacco Verhaeren that his charge may break Brazilian Cesar Cielo’s 46.91 world record in Friday’s 100m final.
And it seems Magnussen once again got caught up in the hype.
Magnussen still effortlessly earned a Glasgow Games nod but he believed he had plenty of work ahead of him.
“I just went about the race the wrong way,” he said.
“There’s no big prize for winning a national title. Here I am focusing on time.
“That was probably the most relaxed I have been before a meet since trials 2012.
“It’s just that extra step I need to take.”
McEvoy – Magnussen’s Olympic and world titles relay teammate – shaved 0.23 off his personal best time.
“I did shock myself. He’s been racing awesome all season. You waste energy if you focus on what others are going to do,” 19-year-old McEvoy said who turned the tables on Magnussen with a spectacular 50m turn.
Meanwhile, five-time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts (two minutes, 08.89 seconds) took out her second straight 200m individual medley title ahead of Emily Seebohm (2:11.25)
And Belinda Hocking (2:07.52) claimed her sixth straight 200m backstroke national title by holding out Seebohm (2.08.28).
Coutts (26.36) grabbed silver behind Commonwealth record holder Marieke D’Cruz (26.20) in the women’s 50m butterfly final.
World champion Cate Campbell sounded a warning by clocking 53.01 in the 100m freestyle semis – a time that would have just missed out on London Olympic gold.
She just held out 200m champion Emma McKeon (53.43) and sister Bronte Campbell (53.61)who are now fourth and sixth respectively on the Australian all-time 100m rankings after their PBs.
“I have been doing some pretty hard training, whether it pays off this time around or at Commonwealth Games I am not sure yet,” Cate Campbell said ominously ahead of Saturday night’s final.
Ben Treffers (24.54) set a new Australian record to claim the 50m backstroke gold in a time that would have earned him world titles silver last year.
World 100m breaststroke champion Christian Sprenger (27.82) was fastest ahead of Saturday night’s men’s 50m final.
In other semis results on Friday night, Tomasso D’Orsogna (52.38) was fastest in the men’s 100m butterfly and Lorna Tonks (1:07.26) is the one to beat in the 100m breaststroke.