Adrian crushes field to win 50 free at Austin GP

Nathan Adrian won the 50-meter freestyle by .73 seconds over second-place finishers Anthony Ervin and Jimmy Feigen at the Austin Grand Prix Saturday.

When the margin of victory can be as little as .01 seconds, Adrian’s win in the event known as the splash-and-dash was an eternity.

Adrian, who was seeded third heading into the finals, touched the wall in a blistering 21.70 seconds at the University of Texas. Feigen and Ervin tied for second in 22.43.

Adrian is coming off his win in the 100 free Friday, his first long-course event since winning the gold medal at the London Olympics last summer. He broke former Olympic champion and fellow California alum Matt Biondi’s pool record in that event. Here’s a video of Nathan talking about the record.

Adrian said in a post-race online interview he didn’t feel as sharp as he did during prelims.

Yet he won easily.

“I’m happy with it,” he said. “Just showing some of the fall training is paying off.”

Adrian will continue his training in Berkeley, where he resides, and prepare for the FINA World Championships in Barcelona this summer.

Interesting sidenote, Nathan has posted the fastest time of the year so far in the 100 free and 50 free. A few hours after Australia’s James Magnussen swam a 48.38 on the anchor leg of the 400 free relay at the Australian Super Series Friday (Saturday Down Under), Nathan posted his time of 48.32 in the 100.

Nathan bettered Australia’s Matt Targett’s time of 22.00, also set at the Super Series, a few hours later. Nathan’s personal best time in the 50 is 22.46, set at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome.

Feel free to take that bit of info any way you like.

Frankly, despite all the attention and the time Nathan has spent away from the pool since becoming an Olympic champion, don’t believe for one minute he’s not focused on Barcelona.

He’ll have a target on his back and he knows it.

But, he’ll be ready. Nathan is very methodical in his thinking and he knows what needs to be done and when.

I haven’t heard which meet he’ll enter next, but my guess would be the Santa Clara  Invite, another Arena Grand Prix Series event, May 30-June 2. I expect that meet to be a big primer for all the top guns getting ready for Worlds.