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Magnussen admits mistakes were made in London

Date

Liam Fitzgibbon

Swimming world champion James Magnussen admits he made mistakes and could have carried himself better during a controversial London Olympic campaign, but says his failure to win a gold medal has made him stronger.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Games, Magnussen said there were many things he would do differently in hindsight after claiming silver in the 100m freestyle final and missing a medal in the sprint relay.

In an interview on the Nine Network, the 21-year-old was also asked about the controversy surrounding him and his 4x100m freestyle relay teammates amid claims of misbehaviour at their Manchester training camp and suggestions of bullying and favouritism.

Reluctant to comment too much with an independent review under way, Magnussen said the team was simply trying to bond but admitted ''mistakes were made''.

''I think one thing people need to understand is as a relay team we're often from different parts of Australia, different states, and for the best part of the year we're [rival] competitors,'' Magnussen said.

''So it is important for us to try and get a sense of team and try and bond.

''Obviously there were some mistakes made. As to the full events that occurred on that night, there's a review by Swimming Australia, all of that will come out … but we learnt things at those Olympics. I learnt things and there are things I'd do differently looking back on it.''

Magnussen said he was fairly happy with his behaviour at the Games but believed he took a naive approach before the biggest event of his career. He said his actions during the relay - when he sat slumped in his chair while his teammates were racing - were not great but he put it down to shock. The sprint team of Magnussen, James Roberts, Eamon Sullivan and Matt Targett were favourites to win gold but came fourth.

''At the time, my world had just changed in a heartbeat in front of the whole world and it was a whirlwind inside my head,'' he said of his disappointing opening leg swim.

''The first thing I remember doing is seeing my coach and sitting down saying 'what just happened?'

''As far as it being a bad look, it may have been and if I had my time again I'd do it differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing.''

Magnussen is preparing for next year's world championships in Barcelona. He said he and coach Brant Best would take the lessons learnt from London on the road to Rio, including using a sports psychologist.

''As a result of that failure - well I say failure but I still got a silver medal which I'm very proud of - but as a result of what happened in the Olympics my coach and I are ready for anything now,'' he said. AAP

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