James Magnussen is one of the fastest swimmers in the world and has set out to prove so. After a sluggish beginning, the Australian is on track to accomplish just that and will do so in the end.
Magnussen is the reigning 100-meter freestyle world champion, making him the favorite heading into the Olympic games anyway. However, if that wasn't enough to convince sports fans he will succeed once again, maybe his outstanding qualifying times will.
As stated in this Bettor.com piece, Magnussen took it to his competition in the semifinals:
With his astounding pace, Magnussen devastated hopes of his opponents as he went full rampant in the 100m discipline and tapped the finishing blockade with an effort of 47.63 seconds.
His fastest qualification effort was chased by Adrian, who stayed 0.34 seconds slower and transpired on the finishing blockade for second position by clocking a time of 47.97 seconds.
Last year, Magnussen made the bold prediction that he would break the world record this year in route to another gold medal. After the Australian 4x100 freestyle relay team finished fourth, Magnussen bore the brunt of criticism based on his statements last time around.
However, now that Magnussen has realized failure, he will be that much more encouraged to perform at the highest level.
When making a bold statement such as the one Magnussen made last year, he needs to step up and prove he is more than just talk. He has the speed to prove so, now he just needs to make up for a disappointing start to the Olympics.
If Magnussen can win the race, he will be the first swimmer to win the same event in three straight Olympics. That's a tall order to fill for someone who put so much pressure on himself, but if anybody can do it, Magnussen can.
While Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps get most of the attention, the Aussie will be the one standing tall amongst the top performers of the Olympic Games. Magnussen has said himself he likes his chances better now than before:
"It is a relief more than anything to feel what it is like to go fast. I felt really good tonight and that I still have plenty left in the tank," Magnussen said.
Now that the man himself feels more confident, you can expect him to remain on track and pull off the record-breaking victory.
You can take that to the bank.