The battle between James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy for Australia’s – and potentially the world’s – freestyle sprint crown is shaping as swimming’s newest rivalry but the friends are such unlikely combatants that neither really believe that rivalry is the correct description.
Dual world champion Magnussen is an alpha-male personality, tall and solidly built and loves his rugby league. McEvoy seems to be more of a thinker, is 13 centimetres shorter, 24 kilograms lighter and cannot talk enough about his passion for science. He travelled to the swim team’s pre-Commonwealth Games training camp in Manchester with two books – The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics and Tuesdays with Morrie – and during his spare time bought another.
“He loves all that type of stuff,” said McEvoy of Magnussen’s support for NRL team Canterbury.
“He can take his mind away from the sport and emerse into that and I can do the same thing with physics or whatever it may be.”
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