McEvoy won’t change leading into Rio
Despite misfiring at the world swimming championships in Russia, Australia’s Cameron McEvoy won’t tinker with a racing program he is convinced has him on track to emerge as the Rio Olympics’ sprint star.
Overwhelming favourite McEvoy was upstaged by China’s controversial Ning Zetao to be relegated to a surprise 100m freestyle silver in Kazan on Thursday – Australia’s sole medal in four finals on day five.
It came two days after McEvoy finished dead last in the 200m freestyle final.
However, McEvoy insists juggling the 200m freestyle has not hampered his 100m chances.
And he will keep pursuing both in what he hopes is a Rio Games to remember.
McEvoy clocked 47.95 seconds – almost half a second off his best – behind a fast finishing Ning (47.84) in the slowest 100m world titles final since Melbourne 2007.
Most 200m swimmers juggle the 400m freestyle, making McEvoy an exception.
But the 21-year-old believed the 100m-200m was the right mix ahead of Rio despite what the Kazan results sheet said.
“I find 200m training helps my 100m, they complement each other – I will definitely keep it up,” McEvoy said.
“I know there is a lot of room for improvement and the potential is definitely there.
“They are two completely different events.
“I just have to find a way that works where I can stand up in a final and make sure it is a world class rivalling time.”
He made it work at last year’s Pan Pacific titles by claiming a stunning 100m gold and 200m bronze.
And he reckoned he was on track to do it again at Rio despite Ning denying him what seemed a certain 100m gold.
“The placing I can’t be disappointed with that -that was my first time ever (on individual world titles podium),” said McEvoy.
“It’s a good position to be in for the year to come.
“The big event is next year. It’s exciting.”
McEvoy was the fastest in 100m heats and semis, emerging as a worthy contender in the absence of dual world champion James Magnussen (shoulder).
But he was touched out for gold by Ning, banned for a year after failing a doping test in March 2011 for taking the performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol.
Ning’s victory may have surprised many – but not McEvoy.
“He was equal second with me on the rankings last year so I knew he was going to be one of the favourites for the race,” he said.
McEvoy was the shining light on day five after a rare quiet night for Australia’s women.
Teenager Brianna Throssell was a gutsy fourth in the women’s 200m butterfly while Emily Seebohm was touched out for 50m backstroke bronze.
Australia’s unfancied 4x200m freestyle relay team faded to sixth.
But there is a promise of medals on day six thanks to Mitch Larkin (200m backstroke) and Cate and Bronte Campbell (100m freestyle).