Nathan Adrian pips disappointed James Magnussen to Olympic silver
Misfiring missile James Magnussen tasted another humbling and hurtful defeat at the London Olympics, losing the blue-ribbon 100m freestyle by a fingernail as once-golden Australia endured a day of Silver! Silver! Silver!
MISFIRING missile James Magnussen tasted another humbling and hurtful defeat at the London Olympics, losing the blue-ribbon 100m freestyle by a fingernail as once-golden Australia endured a day of Silver! Silver! Silver!
Magnussen, the world champion and fastest qualifier, was touched out by American Nathan Adrian by one hundredth of a second, the narrowest margin possible.
His confidence rocked by the failure of Australia’s heavily favoured relay sprint team to win any sort of medal, Magnussen badly needed a victory to restore his own self-belief as well as that of his under-performing nation.
But after appearing to overhaul the field in the closing stages, he had victory snatched from him, dooming his bid to become Australia’s first 100m freestyle winner since Michael Wenden in 1968.
“That hurts,” an emotional Magnussen said later. “To lose by that amount stings. It’s been a tough Olympics.
“I just felt pretty much bullet-proof coming into this Olympics and it’s very humbling.
“I’ve got a lot more respect for guys like Michael Phelps who can come out at an Olympics and back up under pressure.”
The 21-year-old had spent the past year talking the talk as well as walking the walk but admitted this week’s relay debacle might have been the reality check he needed.
Now he faces another period of introspection if he is to overcome his mental demons for his two remaining events, the 50m freestyle and the medley relay.
The Australian women’s 200m freestyle relay team of Bronte Barratt, Melanie Schlanger, Kylie Palmer and Alicia Coutts also had to settle for silver, relinquishing their title to the US.
Coutts collected her fourth medal of the meet and can equal the Australian Olympic record of five medals at a single Olympics, held by Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould, in the medley relay on the final night.
A third silver came earlier at the rowing regatta courtesy of women’s pair Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait, the only survivor of the infamous women’s eight crew which bombed in Athens when Sally Robbins lay down before the finish line.
Australia finished day five of the Olympics with just a solitary gold – won on day one by the women’s freestyle relay team – plus six silver and two bronze.
Lauren Jackson, playing in her fourth Games, became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s basketball as the powered the Opals to a 67-61 victory over Brazil, surpassing her former arch-rival and US great Lisa Leslie.
In the sailing regatta at Weymouth, Laser star Tom Slingsby slipped into silver medal position after placing ninth and second in Wednesday’s races.
But Australia’s 49er skiff pairing Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen extended their overall lead to 13 points.
Outteridge wore a green snorkel and goggles out to the start line – a joke referencing the dramatic capsize he suffered the day before.
Giant-killing Australian archer Taylor Worth trounced world No.1 Brady Ellison 7-1 in the second round of match play to move into medal contention in flukey winds at Lord’s. – AAP