James Magnussen
James Magnussen Getty Images

Magnussen pulls out of freestyle final at national champs

WORLD 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen made a splash at his first real hit-out in the 200m at the national titles in Adelaide, then promptly withdrew from last night's final.

After being run down by American Nathan Adrian in the closing stages of the 100m at the London Olympics, Magnussen decided he needed to put some time into the 200m in an effort to improve his endurance.

Ahead of the Australian Championships, Magnussen said his main goal in the 200m was to swim fast enough to earn a place on the relay team for this year's world titles in Barcelona.

After qualifying third fastest for the final with a personal best time of 1:47.93, an effort many said showed he was more than capable of taking out the event, he said he would now concentrate on the 100m.

"People always said my back end was the best in the world and as good as it could get. I fell into the trap of believing that and I think this 200 work will help break the plateau in my back end (of the 100m) over the last year or so and take it to another level," Magnussen said.