It’s mid-day in Glasgow at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the first morning certainly didn’t disappoint. Over half of the prelims events saw Commonwealth Games Records broken, and in some cases (like Hannah Miley’s 400 IM), it was done without even breaking much of a sweat.
That’s nothing compared to what we would expect to see in finals, where conceivably every Meet Record could go down, and at least one World Record appears to be in the crosshairs. But first, some details.
Day 2 Finals – 2014 Commonwealth Games
- Finals start at 7PM Glasgow time; 2PM US East Coast time, 2AM Sydney time, 8PM South Africa time
- Men’s Semi-Finals: 100 back, 50 fly
- Women’s Semi-Finals: 50 breast, 100 fly
- Men’s Finals: Para-Sport 100 Free S9, 400 free, 200 breaststroke
- Women’s Finals: 200 free, 400 IM, 400 free relay
- No major scratches
Day 2 Finals – Event Timeline
All times local Glasgow time
- 19:07 – women’s 400 IM final
- 19:16 – men’s 400 free final
- 19:25 – women’s 400 IM medal ceremony
- 19:35 – women’s 200 free final
- 19:42 – men’s 100 free S9 final
- 19:48 – men’s 400 free medal ceremony
- 20:00 – women’s 50 breast semi 1
- 20:05 – women’s 50 breast semi 2
- 20:11 – men’s 50 fly semi 1
- 20:15 – men’s 50 fly semi 2
- 20:18 – women’s 200 free medal ceremony
- 20:28 – men’s 100 free S9 medal ceremony
- 20:39 – women’s 100 fly semi 1
- 20:44 – women’s 100 fly semi 2
- 20:50 – men’s 100 back semi 1
- 20:55 – men’s 100 back semi 2
- 21:01 – men’s 200 breaststroke final
- 21:08 – women’s 400 free relay final
- 21:17 – men’s 200 breaststroke medal ceremony
- 21:27 – women’s 400 free relay medal ceremony
Could Scotland’s Hannah Miley Strike Home Team’s First Blood?
In total, across all sports, there are 20 sets of medals across 6 sports being handed out on the first day of the 2014 Commonwealth Games – the fewest of any day. As of posting time, England and Canada struck first blood in triathlon, and Scotland is still not on the board.
Enter Hannah Miley, who comes into finals of the women’s 400 IM as the top seed and the new Commonwealth Games Record holder, and the defending 400 IM Champion. She’ll be challenged by Aimee Willmott from England and Emily Overholt from Canada most heavily, but Miley is a big favorite. Depending on timing of completion in other events, Miley could be Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games champion of 2014, which would give her considerably more local exposure and star-power for her victory.
Anybody who wants to pick off Miley will need to do work on the front half, and even then it might not be enough. Most of this field was around a 2:12-mid or 2:13-low in the first 200 meters in the morning, but Miley made it all back in 100 meters of breaststroke. That makes Canadian Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson a bit of a sleeper, as she’s the only one really who can hang with Miley on the breaststroke. We’re not sure the young Seltenreich-Hodgson has quite yet developed the freestyle leg to finish it off, though, if she winds up in that position.
World Record Watch – Australian Women’s 400 Free Relay
The Australian women’s only competition in the 400 free relay final will be the clock and the officials; plus a little bit of history.
In prelims, the team of Madeline Groves, Brittany Elmslie, Alicia Coutts, and Melanie Schlanger combined for a 3:34.57, which gives them a 6-second margin ahead of the next-closest team, England.
Australia’s AM splits:
- Maddie Groves 54.77
- Brittany Elmslie 53.82
- Alicia Coutts 53.51
- Mel Schlanger 52.47
Nobody has a bullet left in their chamber that could make up 6 seconds, but Australia does have a bullet left that could make up the two seconds to the Australian Record (3:32.43, from last year’s World Championships) or the three seconds to the World Record (3:31.72 – by the Netherlands at Worlds 2009).
That is one Cate Campbell, the defending World Champion in the women’s 100 free and a swimmer who had made going under 53 seconds almost unimpressive in this event over the last 18 months.
Campbell was a 52.3 on a flat-start at last year’s Worlds, so presuming that she can improve the lead-off by a minimum of two seconds, that should send the Australian Record by the wayside.
Then, it’s up to the rest of the team to finish things off. The Australian coaches have some tough choices to make, especially with Schlanger swimming so well in prelims. They’ve got Emma McKeon and Bronte Campbell waiting on deck, and with both easily capable of 53-low or 52-high, it would be hard to leave them off. It appears then that Coutts and Elmslie might take a seat in finals.
In that event, if Schlanger repeats her morning performance, while Bronte Campbell and McKeon repeat their Worlds performances (and both are very young and rightly should be better than they were in Barcelona), that would leave Australia with two-tenths of a second to play with on the World Record.
An Intriguing Battle of Youth for 200 Free Gold
Those who’ve been following won’t be all that surprised at the top two seeds for the women’s 200 free final on Thursday. Emma McKeon of Australia and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor of England are so green that their named swimming idols are Rebecca Adlington and Libby Trickett – two swimmers who raced in London in 2012.
But these two have been building pressure for the last couple of seasons. Neither was quite yet ripe at the 2012 Olympics, but by 2016 both will be fully-blossomed stars. O’Connor, still just 17, and McKeon, now 20, swim nearly identical races too. Despite being in different heats in the morning, both split 27.2 over 50 meters, and were never separated by more than a couple of tenths in their splits.
There’s some veterans chasing them, including Wales’ Jazz Carlin, New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, and Canada’s Brittany MacLean, all of whom are coming down from their preferred longer distances, but the grand show is really between McKeon and O’Connor.
Hopefully, the two can push each other at least into the 1:55’s in finals, if not close to a 1:54. That would really make some noise for these Commonwealth nations.
We’ll be back with live finals recaps when the meet begins in a few hours.