Port Macquarie News sports editor Paul Jobber goes head-to-head with James Magnussen

Trouble: It was about this moment where it all went pear-shaped. I appealed to FINA, but the appeal fell on deaf ears.
Trouble: It was about this moment where it all went pear-shaped. I appealed to FINA, but the appeal fell on deaf ears.

IT isn’t very often a sports journalist goes head-to-head with an Olympic silver-medallist.

And after you witness my 50-metre freestyle race against Port Macquarie’s own James Magnussen you will understand why.

The man they dub “The Missile” is in the second week of a two-week training camp this week, but took the time out to have a laugh at this scribe’s expense.

While the two-time world champion was barely kicking his feet and cruising down lane two of the short-course pool last Thursday, yours truly was going flat out.

My colleagues described my action as more like a washing machine – and rightly so.

However, at the 25-metre mark I touched the wall first and contemplated a tumble-turn, despite never having even tried one in my entire life.

Good thing I decided not to, because it wouldn’t have ended well.

Anyway, as I turned for home, thoughts swirled around my head about how this 31-year-old beat the London Olympics silver-medallist.

I imagined the stories I could have dined out on and how I could have told the grand kids it was actually over 100-metres.

As my lungs cried out for more air, the unimaginable happened and a quick jolt of my left foot forced me under the water.

By the time I realised what was happening, the two-time world champion flicked the switch and finished the remaining 10-metres in the blink of an eye.

The dream of beating an Olympian was over.