Australia welcome China, Japan and the United States to the Aquatic Super Series from Friday with homeboy James Magnussen hoping his slim new frame will take him to a third world championship triumph in 2015.
Magnussen is looking for a fresh start in Perth after upsetting Swimming Australia at the end of last year by dumping his long-standing coach and joining Mitch and Lach Falvey in Sydney.
The reigning 100m freestyle world champion felt he needed a change to stay in contention for July’s world championships in Kazan, Russia, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Now five kilos (11 lb) lighter and refreshed from a new strength and conditioning schedule, Magnussen says he has already seen results.
“I felt it was time that I took a little more control over my career and went out and set up a new team around myself,” Magnussen said.
“It’s been really exciting and it’s something fresh and new, and something that I’m looking forward to testing on the world stage.”
He has recovered from a back problem and added: “I feel very physically different this time this year compared to last year.
“A lot of that comes with maturity and shedding a little bit of baby fat as you get older.”
Cate Campbell on the other hand says she is well below 100 percent for Perth after shoulder surgery in September ended a stunning 2014 when she was Australia’s swimmer of the year.
“I will do absolutely 100 percent of what I’m capable,” the world 100m freestyle champion said.
“But if I’m not quite at where I was last year or the year before that’s all right because Rio’s only 18 months away and we really need to get ourselves right for that,” the 22-year-old said.
The United States, led by 11-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte, will be looking to halt Australia’s domination of the two-day outdoor event in its third year on Australia’s west coast.
Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren said the competiton would be tough with the whole team in heavy training.
“We’re racing the strongest nations in the world,” he said.
“They won’t give anything for free so the competition is very good.”