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Australian Olympic swimmer James Magnussen has enjoyed a winning return to the sport in the 100 metre freestyle at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series at Challenge Stadium tonight.

In his first meet since a disappointing London Olympics, Magnussen smashed his competition to finish the race in 48.38sec, more than a second ahead of closest rival, Aussie James Roberts (49.62).

Magnussen heads a 30-strong squad competing against China and South Africa at the $500,000 event.

The result caps a strong start to the two-day meet for Australia, who won 12 of the 19 events. China took out the other seven.

Olympic medallists Cate Campbell (100m freestyle) and Christian Sprenger (100m breaststroke) were among the winners for Australia while Olympic champion Ye Shiwen continued her dominance of the 200 individual medlay for China.