McEvoy learns physics of winning

Cameron McEvoy's Twitter account is filled with the normal things you would expect from a young swimmer who has just won his first national titles and beaten dual 100-metres freestyle world champion James Magnussen.

Messages of congratulations fill the account, but beyond that there is a post that McEvoy made on March 11 that says: "Found a two-storey antique book store on the Gold Coast which was filled with books from as far back as 1802!"

His find, as he puts it, included books such as Poetry of the Uni-verse: a Mathematical Exploration of the Cos-mos, Ordinary Differen-tial Equations With Linear Algebra and Fun-damentals of Physics.

A post a day earlier shows a picture of something to do with a "cloud chamber".

The 19-year-old is studying and just loves talking about physics. McEvoy, who was a member of the 4x100 metres freestyle relay team that was disciplined for its now infamous Stilnox bonding session at a pre-Games camp, credits it for his growth as a person.

"Eighteen months ago I wasn't sure what I wanted to do outside of swimming for uni and for a career afterwards so it was only within that time span where I've really found science and physics and got a passion for that," McEvoy said.

McEvoy has been the swimmer of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games selection trials with his wins in the 100 and 200 metres freestyle. He went into both events among the contenders but facing more highly fancied swimmers, particularly in the 100 metres freestyle, where Magnussen failed to perform to the expectations of pushing Cesar Cielo's "supersuit" world record of 46.91 seconds.

McEvoy said he used his interest in science to help his performances but concedes there's a danger of over-thinking training.

"You can't sit down all the time and think, 'If I'm a couple of degrees better in the pool or my dive,' because then you get caught up in being a perfectionist and it's just so hard getting it right all the time," McEvoy said.

His coach Richard Scarce said McEvoy had benefited from having an intellectual pursuit outside swimming, although he could need to reduce his workload as he approaches the Rio Olympics.

"He is a very bright young fellow," Scarce said.

He said he was not surprised by McEvoy's success at the selection trials, where he won his first senior titles.

McEvoy, at 182 centimetres and only 70 kilograms, is dwarfed by many of his rivals, such as Magnussen who is 195 centimetres and 94 kilograms. But Scarce said his swimmer had "great power-to-weight ratio".

"He's strong and getting stronger every year," Scarce said.

This story McEvoy learns physics of winning first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.