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A FEW more performances like the one James Magnussen dished up in Barcelona on Wednesday morning could have a few more people taking notice.
Magnussen backed up his 100-metre freestyle win in Monaco with another win in Barcelona in a swim that was even better than his victory at Monte Carlo.
The Missile started slow in the final, turning in sixth position before he mowed down the field to touch the wall first in a time of 48.68 seconds.
He was too good for Brazilian Bruno Fratus and Cuban Hanser Garcia Hernandez while compatriot Cam McEvoy finished in fourth.
It showed an improvement of almost half a second in two days.
Coach Lachy Falvey said the most pleasing aspect about Magnussen’s race again was his second 50.
“It was a great swim from him and a good shift on the time he did in Monaco,” he said.
Magnussen completed the second 50 in a time of 24.75 seconds, which Falvey said was one of the best back end’s he has swum for many years.
“When James was at the peak of his powers, his forte was his second 50 and coming home strongly,” he said.
When James was at the peak of his powers, his forte was his second 50 and coming home strongly.James Magnussen's coach Lachy Falvey
“So now it’s about replicating that and he’s done it well for the first two legs of this meet of the European trip.
“He had a really good turn in the final and his second 50 came back 0.4 seconds faster than what he did at Monaco and he went out a tiny bit slower than he did at Monaco.”
Falvey admitted he was pleased to see the improvement in the 26-year-old, but the challenge was doing it consistently.
“He might have a bit more of a target on his back or maybe people will pay closer attention now he’s won two races,” he said.
“But James has got a tremendous amount of pedigree as a swimmer and no-one is ever going to count out a swimmer like James whether he’s coming back from injury or whatever the case may be.”
Magnussen’s coach was not content just to see him return to the winner’s list – he wanted more improvement.
“The times are still good times, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to get back to that 47-second mark which a few people have done at various stages in this swimming year,” Falvey said.
He might have a bit more of a target on his back or maybe people will pay closer attention now he’s won two races.Lachy Falvey
“That’s going to keep his mind firing as a goal to reach and he’s not going to be satisfied with two minor wins.”
Falvey said it was too early to suggest that the sleeping giant was stirring from his slumber.
“I wouldn’t go that far yet, but hopefully he’s well on the way,” he said.