Olympics: Australia looking for more success in London



- VAR swimmers training at the aquatic centre in Manchester

SOUNDBITE 1 Matthew Targett (man), World champion of 4x100m relay (English, 11 sec):
"Right now we're the favourites, and it's hard to say you know, we're not going to do better than bronze at the moment. But you know, the ideal is to go there and do the best as we can, and hopefully it's better than everybody else."

- VAR swimmers training at the aquatic centre in Manchester

SOUNDBITE 2 Kenrick Monk (man), Australian swimmer (English, 17 sec):
"Basically I look at this step by step. Basically I take my heat my semi, my final. And basically if I get in that final, it's an open bag, and you get in there anything can happen. Basically, once you're in the mix with all those guys you see what you can do and hopefully put a good show on."

- VAR swimmers training at the aquatic centre in Manchester

SOUNDBITE 3 Michael Bohl (man), Coach of Stephanie Rice (English, 8 sec):
"I think they're getting to the stage of being ready but they're not quite within to be at the moment. So hopefully, in the next 7 days, I can come up and produce some good swims next week."

- VAR swimmers training at the aquatic centre in Manchester



SYDNEY, July 12, 2012 (AFP) - 'The Missile' is zeroing in on London with Australia's James Magnussen supremely confident of trumping the world's best for the 100-metres freestyle gold medal at the Olympics.
Magnussen, 21, holds nothing back in or out of the pool and has talked up his chances of becoming the first Australian man to win the Olympic event in 44 years after claiming the world title in Shanghai last year.
The 1.95 metre (6ft 4in) sprinter owns the year's fastest time (47.10secs) and four of the top eight fastest times in the 100m.
Magnussen, nicknamed 'The Missile', warned his rivals to "brace yourselves" after swimming within 0.19sec of Brazilian Cesar Cielo's 100m world record at the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide last March.
With the cockiness of a pre-fight boxer, Magnussen ramped up the mind games on his rivals by declaring he was targeting nothing less than the 100m world record in London.
"I've done everything I can to get it. I'm confident I'll get it in London because I want to be considered the fastest man in history," he said.
Magnussen said he wanted to send a clear message to his London rivals, and did so with emphatic wins in the 50m (21.74sec) and 100m (47.10) at the Australian trials.
"I'm sure they'll have a few sleepless nights," he said. "It just keeps them second-guessing their preparations and keeps them chasing me."
Magnussen produced three personal best times -- carving an incredible 0.67sec off his best one-lap mark -- to win the 50m freestyle at the trials and put himself in the frame for a second individual gold medal in London.
Only Cielo (21.38) and fellow Brazilian Bruno Fratus (21.70) have gone faster than Magnussen in the 50m so far this year.
"I've had six races, six wins and six improvements on my time," Magnussen said of his week's work at the trials.
"I go into every race backing myself and I'll certainly be confident going into this event in London -- people are going to sit up and take notice," he said.
Magnussen is bidding to become the first Australian man to win the 100m freestyle Olympic gold medal since Michael Wenden in Mexico in 1968.
Magnussen's manager Mark Jones said 'The Missile' would keep talking the talk before his much-anticipated Olympic debut.
"These are confident athletes and they are brave enough to say what they think," Jones told AFP.
"There is nothing wrong with that. They are all trying to break each other physically but they're also trying to hammer each other mentally.
"Psychology is a big part of it. The main thing is that you have to be good enough to walk the walk if you're going to talk it up. James's performances have obviously been very good and he has faith in his ability."
Australia head coach Leigh Nugent is a big Magnussen fan.
"He's the real deal, he's the full package. Maggy (Magnussen) has brought a lot of attention and he's just a wonderful character," he said.
"He's something different. He's prepared to put himself out there, to talk it up a bit and that's been really good for us."
Australia, who have forged an Olympic tradition in swimming with 58 golds, may reap further success out of Magnussen in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay, after winning the world title last year.
Magnussen is likely to team with James Roberts, Eamon Sullivan and Matt Targett in the event in which Australia upset the Americans at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Australia are in strong contention to land the relay event in London after their triumph at the Shanghai worlds and impressive individual times at the Olympic trials.