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Magnussen Backs Big Prizes For Big Fish

Jul 13, 2012  - Craig Lord

James "The Missile" Magnussen, the 47.10 golden shot in the 100m free at London 2012, has backed Swimming Australia's athlete funding scheme.

The Aussie sprinter, world champion in 47.63 a year ago in Shanghai, has made known his disagreement with athlete representative and Olympic medallist Daniel Kowalski in Fairfax group papers today. 

In contrast to Kowalski's wish to have better funding for those who are not "golden certs" when it comes to the Games, Magnussen believes big results should get the bulk of the reward.

Under the Swimming Australia scheme, Magnussen's pay day from federation funding may top $100,000 (much more in the wider world of commercial possibilities) if all goes well in London, while those who miss the hunt for the podium will have to live with the $10,000 of funding already deposited in their bank accounts.

"If you look at any elite sport in Australia, the payments are made based on achievements," says the sprinter. "That's the plan they are going with at Swimming Australia at the moment and I don't see any problem with that."

As for his prospects for London, the key appears to have turned on the much advertised lock down as Magnussen tells the papers: "I feel well at the moment. If I can race even at 90 per cent of my full strength and health, I should be right. The world record is the pinnacle of sport. The title of  'fastest man in history' is what I'm chasing, and to get that along with Olympic gold will be a bonus." 

Essential in fact if he is to be considered the best there has been.

"I think if I had to sum it up, I'm feeling relaxed and focused," he added. "I'm pretty calm going into this, it doesn't feel any different to any big meet I've done. I'll focus on what I need to do and get the job done."

And that does not include the use of sleeping pills to get him over jet lag, he notes.

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