Aussie champ set for history-making Olympic moment

Aussie champ set for history-making Olympic moment

Brisbane: Rejuvenated speedster Cameron McEvoy will create history in Paris after securing his ticket to the Olympics with a swift 50m freestyle time on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old will become the first male Australian swimmer to contest four Olympic Games.

He set himself up for the history-making moment by winning the 50m final and nailing Swimming Australia’s Olympic qualification time at the Paris 2024 trials, rocketing through the one-lap dash in a time of 21.35 seconds.

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McEvoy will be joined in Paris by 22-year-old Ben Armbruster, who finished second and clocked 21.84 to ensure he will be making his Olympic debut.

Burnt out from 18 years of gruelling swimming training, McEvoy quit the sport after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Upon his return to the pool, he cut his weekly mileage by up to 40 kilometres a week, bulked up dramatically and became a student of a wide range of other sports, including track sprinting, javelin, weightlifting, gymnastics and even speed skating.

Watch Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials on Nine and 9Now.

He’s convinced that if he hadn’t had the huge shake-up he’d be done with swimming.

Instead, he believes he can swim at the Brisbane 2032 Olympics, by which point he will be 38.

Cameron McEvoy.

Cameron McEvoy celebrates punching his ticket to Paris. Chris Hyde/Getty Images

McEvoy has had extraordinary results since returning to the pool, cracking the 22-second barrier for fun and becoming a world champion.

He claimed last year’s 50m freestyle world title in Fukuoka and shattered the Australian record, tearing through the race in 21.06 seconds.

“About 18 months ago my goal was to just come back, give this new training approach a go, see what happens and if I can maybe go under 22 [seconds] again I’d be over the moon with that,” McEvoy told reporters on Wednesday night.

“So what I’ve done so far has just obliterated any expectations I had.

“With that, I’m most excited to get this done and then just compile what I’ve learnt and just push it out there into the public.

“I know there’s a tremendous amount of swimmers who have been in my position, currently are in my position who would want to learn from that, a lot of coaches want to learn from that, and I think I can provide a lot of good to a lot of athletes who love the sport, but they’re not quite on the right path in terms of the type of training and the philosophy and everything.

“So looking past Paris, I’m very excited to do my best to help people out that way.”

Breaststroke champion Leisel Jones, freestyle great Cate Campbell and backstroke veteran Emily Seebohm have swum for Australia at four Olympic Games, and the latter two are attempting to become five-time Olympians in Paris.

The magnitude of McEvoy’s looming achievement is not lost on the Gold Coast product.

“It’s special because you could almost fill a book with legendary Aussie male names in the sport, so to have the privilege of having that title under my belt [becoming the first male Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympic Games], having that type of longevity,” he said.

“I think ultimately it just makes me proud because it shines a light on the persistence and perseverance that I’ve had over … my entire career, but particularly over the last seven years.

“I’ll do my best to honour it over in Paris and we’ll see what happens with LA [the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics] to come and whatever happens after Paris.”

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