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Coach hails Magnussen a 'true champion'
Liam FitzGibbon
08:49 AEST Thu Aug 2 2012

James Magnussen's coach says his swimmer will become an even more fierce competitor after failing to win 100m freestyle gold in London.

Magnussen's silver medal to Nathan Adrian was anything but a failure to coach Brant Best, who believes the 21-year-old's effort of bouncing back from a relay flop to come within one one-hundredth of a second proves he's a "true champion".

"You've got a kid who's under a lot of pressure, comes out and swims a relay and gives everything for his country and feels like he's let a lot of people down," Best said.

"And he stands up three days later and is able to do that.

"I'm actually prouder of him, and I had a very high regard for him, he's a stronger man and a stronger athlete and a bigger champion than anyone would have ever given him credit for."

Best said Magnussen was "devastated" after his performance in the relay flop, as the heavily-favoured Australian team failed to win a medal.

"He thought he let a lot of people down and had the weight of the country on his shoulders," Best said.

"To have the capacity and the courage to stand up when you're absolutely gutted and you feel like you don't know how you're going to recover ... to find that confidence and find that strength again.

"I don't think you'll find a closer definition of a true champion."

Best says Magnussen has always been an incredible trainer but expects him to crank things up another notch on the road to Rio 2016.

"I've seen him after disappointment before. And if he was an animal before, this is going to do incredible things now. Because he has that fire in the belly.

"It's not a great place for it to happen, but all great things come out of disappointment.

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