Kyle Chalmers congratulates James Magnussen after the 100m freestyle at the Queensland titles.
Kyle Chalmers congratulates James Magnussen after the 100m freestyle at the Queensland titles.

Missile Magnussen returns fire after 100m freestyle win

JAMES Magnussen has hit back at criticism from Olympic gold medallist Ashley Callus, saying his comments that the sprinter shouldn't be considered in the Commonwealth Games mix "show a complete lack of class".

Magnussen on Monday night beat a crack field including Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and Cameron McEvoy, the fastest man in history in a textile suit, to win the 100m freestyle at the Queensland championships.

His win came just days after Callus, an Olympic relay gold medallist in Sydney, questioned the 26-year-old's relevance, saying he "hasn't done anything in four years".

Magnussen said Callus's comments had been "water off a duck's back" and denied they had inspired his win.

James Magnussen powers down the pool.
James Magnussen powers down the pool.

But he fired back at the Gold Coast coach, who mentors two-time Olympian James Roberts, another of the men Magnussen beat last night.

"I think that shows a complete lack of class," Magnussen said of Callus's comments.

"I'm never going to stoop to that level.

"There's a really relevant quote that I think relates to that and that is: 'winners focus on winning and losers focus on winners'.

"I'm never going to talk about anybody else in the media, just focus on my own backyard.

"I only take into consideration people's opinion that I respect and are within my circle.

"Other than that, I've seen and heard it all in my career now, so it really doesn't affect me."

Magnussen touched the wall in 49.23 sec to win a relatively slow final in which he relegated teens Jack Cartwright (49.33) and Chalmers (49.60) to the lower tiers of the podium.

Brisbane's Clyde Lewis was fourth, ahead of Gold Coasters Roberts and McEvoy.

Magnussen qualified fastest for the final and was the only swimmer from the morning heats to break 49 sec.

"It was all right, I think it was a really good race," Magnussen said.

"Everyone that's going to be at trials was there tonight, so I got a good feel for where we're all at.

"I felt like I could have gone a little bit faster but it was just one of those races where no one went that quick. I'm just concentrating on winning and did that."

Sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell.
Sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell.

Earlier, Cate Campbell cruised to win the women's 100m in 52.69 sec, ahead of sister Bronte Campbell (53.75) and Shayna Jack (53.81).

The standout performance belonged to teenage sensation Ariarne Titmus, who sent another warning across the Commonwealth and perhaps as far as US distance queen Katie Ledecky with her second personal best of the meet in the 400m freestyle.

Titmus dominated from the start, taking down Jessica Ashwood's two-year-old Australian record with a time of 4.02.86.

Admitting 20-year-old Ledecky is her idol and primary target, Titmus said she was striving to achieve the 3.58.37 the Olympic Gold medallist recorded as a 17-year-old at the Pan Pacific championships on the Gold Coast in 2014.

"She's definitely an inspiration to me, and she is still so young,'' said Titmus, who also smashed her personal best in winning the 200m on Sunday night.

"She's only three years older than me, at the same age she was doing about three fifty eight in full taper, so I'm not that far behind.''

Olympic champion Mack Horton, who won the 400m freestyle final, said he was blown away by the teenager's ability to consistently better her times.

"It is crazy to be honest, I am just here battling it out in heavy training and trying to break three fifty and she's breaking Australian records,'' he said. "It is madness.''

Emily Seebohm won the women's 100m backstroke final.



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