Olympics Betting: Gold Missile Strike ahead
As it stands, he might only need to produce a 47.3 to win the gold medal, barely any improvement on what he’s already produced.
Michael Klim reassesses his view of James Magnussen's chances of winning gold in the 100m freestyle at Olympics 2012.
Much can change in 24 hours and Olympic Games are no exception.
Yesterday I declared that James Magnussen faced a huge battle to win his favourite 100m freestyle in London.
He'd been sluggish in the relay and looked as if the weight of the world was hanging on his shoulders.
However, as with most form 'slumps', The Missile was only one swim away from bouncing back to his best and it appears he's rediscovered the form and speed that saw him enter these games as the most exciting sprinter Australia has produced in many years.
His heat swim last evening was solid and his semi-final performance was outstanding, progressing to the final as the fastest qualifier in 47.63.
To my eye, James appeared to be cruising and will have plenty left in the tank to explode in the final.
As it stands, he might only need to produce a 47.3 to win the gold medal, barely any improvement on what he's already produced.
He's been backed in by Betfair players to a current price Betfair price of (1.62) after drifting to (2.24) yesterday.
His current price is a fair one given his talent.
The second-fastest qualifier, Nathan Adrian, clocked 47.97 in the semi-finals but he won't go any faster. He was breathing heavily on the pool deck post-race and was also last out of the pool, both signs that he's given it everything.
Adrian is (8.80) to win the gold and @ Betfair odds of (1.66) to win a medal, and is a good lay proposition in both markets.
World record holder Cesar Cielo is well off the pace and I can't see him improving sufficiently to threaten Magnussen.
That leaves the smoky of the field, Yannick Agnel.
He's been the swimmer of the meet so far and yet the French flyer looked flat yesterday on the back of a heavy workload. He barely scraped into the final, but a solid night's rest and an entire day to put the feet up before competing at night could be enough to spark him back to peak speed.
Agnel is the only man that can beat Magnussen, but I am tipping The Missile for gold.
Hats off to Aussie veteran Brenton Rickard for qualifying for the final of the 200m breaststroke.
Rickard has been a stalwart of the swim team for many campaigns and he deserves to compete on the highest stage.
Can he win?