Magnussen touched out

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August 2, 2012 by dixwah

It was heartbreaking. And that’s me, someone who’s never met James Magnussen, and someone who always gains the lifeguard’s full attention before sliding in for a few laps.

For a man with such well-known high expectations, it must be even more gut wrenching.

Beaten by a lip, .01 of a second. Or was he? You be the judge (wishful I know).

While it’s impossible to watch the race and not mention the margin, tomorrow it’s all fish and chip wrappers.

As such, James Magnussen’s silver medal in the 100 metres freestyle should not be understated, despite what the Channel 9 commentators say.

The Missile’s relay lead-off was poor, his body language after the race showed that, but here he performed and was out-gunned (or out-touched) by a better swim on the night. No shame in that.

The criticism will be there. He shouldn’t talk it up if he can’t produce. Talk the talk, didn’t swim the swim. Ridiculous. For too long the Australian sporting fan has lamented the cliched statements of our sportspeople, yet the reaction to Magnussen’s public confidence shows we still expect a forced humility from our athletes.

We can’t have it each way.

Magnussen is not Anthony Mundine, making outlandish insensitive comments at the drop of a hat. He is articulate and professional, with the self-belief required to compete on that sort of stage. The fact that he discusses the high expectations he puts on himself in the public domain should be credited, not disputed.

Get on board, Rio’s only 4 years away.

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