2018 Commonwealth Games: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first finals session of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be an action packed one, with medals on the line in seven events. We’ll see finals in the women’s 400 IM, 200 free, S7 50 fly and 400 free relay, while the men will swim the 400 free, S14 200 free, and 200 breast.

We’ll also see semi-final action in the men’s 50 fly and 100 back, and the women’s 50 breast and 100 fly.


  1. Aimee Willmott, England, 4:34.90
  2. Hannah Miley, Scotland, 4:35.16
  3. Blair Evans, Australia, 4:38.23

In what was a great back-and-forth battle, the first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games went to England’s Aimee Willmott in the women’s 400 IM. Canada’s Sarah Darcel led the race early, but Willmott and two-time defending champ Hannah Miley of Scotland separated themselves on the breaststroke. Willmott managed to outsprint Miley to win gold in 4:34.90, with Miley less than three tenths back in 4:35.16.

Australian Blair Evans, whose coach Bud McAllister is currently ailing, turned 5th with 50 metres to go but charged home in 30.69 to grab the bronze in 4:38.23 over Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (4:38.51) and her Canadian teammate Darcel (4:39.43). Abbie Wood (4:40.55), Meg Bailey (4:41.46) and Mary-Sophie Harvey (4:43.51) round out the eight finalists.


  • CG Record: 3:40.08, Ian Thorpe (AUS), 2002
  1. Mack Horton, Australia, 3:43.76
  2. Jack McLoughlin, Australia, 3:45.21
  3. James Guy, England, 3:45.32

England’s James Guy was the aggressor early on in the men’s 400 free final, out in 1:49.88 at the 200 and holding the lead through 300m. Jack McLoughlin was just behind him the entire race, with his Aussie teammate Mack Horton lurking close behind. Horton really turned it on down the stretch, and sealed the gold medal with a 27.82 last 50, winning in 3:43.76.

After Horton took off, McLoughlin and Guy had a great battle for silver, with McLoughlin getting the edge in 3:45.21 to Guy’s 3:45.32. Daniel Jervis of Wales wound up 4th in 3:48.08, and Jeremy Bagshaw of Canada was 5th in 3:49.52.


  1. Taylor Ruck, Canada, 1:54.81
  2. Ariarne Titmus, Australia, 1:54.85
  3. Emma McKeon, Australia, 1:56.26

Canada’s Taylor Ruck and defending champ Emma McKeon of Australia were out ahead of the field for the majority of the 200 free final, but Ariarne Titmus came back on them on the second half and in the last few strokes it was Titmus vs Ruck for the gold. Ruck won the touch by .04, winning the gold medal and breaking the Commonwealth Games Record in a time of 1:54.81. The swim also smashes her Canadian Record by over two seconds. Titmus had a huge 28.82 coming home, ultimately earning her silver in 1:54.85.

McKeon couldn’t hang with them the last 50, taking the bronze in 1:56.26. Eleanor Faulkner and Holly Hibbott of England were 4th and 5th in 1:57.72 and 1:58.55, Australian Leah Neale was 6th in 1:58.76, and Canadian Penny Oleksiak had a disappointing swim to end up 7th in 1:59.55.


  1. Thomas Hamer, England, 1:55.88
  2. Liam Schluter, Australia, 1:56.23
  3. Daniel Fox, Australia, 1:58.26

England’s Thomas Hamer torched the pool in the men’s S14 200 free final, breaking the existing world record in a time of 1:55.88 to win the gold medal. Australia’s Liam Schluter was close behind for silver in 1:56.23, breaking the Oceania Record, and his countryman Daniel Fox takes bronze in 1:58.26.


  1. Eleanor Robinson, England, 35.72
  2. Sarah Mehain, Canada, 37.69
  3. Tess Routliffe, Canada, 37.85

England’s Eleanor Robinson easily won gold in the women’s S7 50 fly final, putting up a time of 35.72. Sarah Mehain and Tess Routliffe took 2nd and 3rd for Canada.


  1. Chad Le Clos, South Africa, 23.53
  2. Grant Irvine, Australia / Ryan Coetzee, South Africa, 23.79
  3. Dylan Carter, Trinidad, 23.90
  4. Daniel Hunter, New Zealand, 23.93
  5. Sam Perry, New Zealand, 23.99
  6. Jacob Peters, England, 24.05
  7. David Morgan, Australia, 24.17

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos won the second semi-final in the men’s 50 fly in a time of 23.53, putting him atop the leaderboard heading into the final. His countryman Ryan Coetzee swam alongside him in that second semi, clocking 23.79 to tie for 2nd heading to the final.

Grant Irvine of Australia also went 23.79, winning the 1st semi-final. Dylan Carter of Trinidad, and New Zealanders Daniel Hunter and Sam Perry were the others under 24 seconds, all in 23.9. England’s Jacob Peters (24.05) and Australia’s David Morgan (24.17) were the last two to make it through to the final.

Le Clos is the big favorite here after defending champ Ben Proud was disqualified in the prelims for a false start. Proud is the reigning world champion in this event and was 22.84 in the heats before the DQ.


  1. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica, 30.53
  2. Sarah Vasey, England, 30.75
  3. Georgia Bohl, Australia / Jessica Hansen, Australia, 30.92
  4. Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa, 31.01
  5. Leiston Pickett, Australia, 31.02
  6. Faith Knelson, Canada, 31.22
  7. Roanne Ho, Singapore, 31.31

Defending champion Alia Atkinson made it known she’s the one to beat in the women’s 50 breast, throwing down the top time in 30.53 to win the second semi. She was followed by England’s Sarah Vasey (30.75) and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker (31.01), who qualify 2nd and 5th overall.

Australians Georgia Bohl and Jessica Hansen tied for the win in semi-final 1, heading into the final deadlocked at 3rd in 30.92. They were just ahead of the third Aussie, Leiston Pickett, who advances in 6th in 31.02. 16-year-old Canadian Faith Knelson and Singapore’s Roanne Ho also made the final in 7th and 8th.


  • CG Record: 53.12, Chris Walker-Hebborn (ENG), 2014
  1. Mitch Larkin, Australia, 53.15
  2. Markus Thormeyer, Canada, 53.86
  3. Bradley Woodward, Australia, 54.22
  4. Conor Ferguson, Northern Ireland, 54.48
  5. Luke Greenbank, England, 54.54
  6. Ben Treffers, Australia, 54.62
  7. Corey Main, New Zealand, 55.02
  8. Xavier Castelli, Wales, 55.13

Canadian Markus Thormeyer posted a time of 53.86 to win semi-final 1 in the men’s 100 back, a new personal best and just over two tenths off the Canadian Record. He was followed by England’s Luke Greenbank (54.54) and New Zealand’s Corey Main (55.02). These three would end up advancing to the final 2nd, 5th and 7th. Xavier Castelli of Wales was 4th in the semi and squeaks into the final in 8th in 55.13.

Mitch Larkin followed up with a blistering 53.15 in the second semi, winning the heat by over a second and heading into the final seven tenths clear of Thormeyer. His Aussie teammates Bradley Woodward (54.22) and Ben Treffers (54.62) were 2nd and 4th in the heat and end up moving on in 3rd and 6th, while Northern Ireland’s Conor Ferguson qualifies 4th for the final in 54.48.


  • CG Record: 57.40, Katerine Savard (CAN), 2014
  1. Madeline Groves, Australia, 57.22
  2. Rebecca Smith, Canada, 57.77
  3. Emma McKeon, Australia, 57.94
  4. Charlotte Atkinson, IOM, 58.04
  5. Alys Thomas, Wales, 58.17
  6. Penny Oleksiak, Canada, 58.29
  7. Brianna Throssell, Australia, 58.38
  8. Mabel Zavaros, Canada, 58.62

Australian Madeline Groves followed up her impressive morning swim with an even better one in the women’s 100 fly semis, breaking the Commonwealth Games Record in a time of 57.22. That gives her the top spot heading into tomorrow’s final by over half a second. Canadian Rebecca Smith was 2nd to Groves in the second semi, advancing in 2nd in 57.77, and Charlotte Atkinson (58.04), Alys Thomas (58.17) and Mabel Zavaros (58.62) also made the final from that heat.

Fresh out of the 200 freestyle, Emma McKeon and Penny Oleksiak went 1-2 in the first semi, posting times of 57.94 and 58.29 to qualify 3rd and 6th overall for the final. Brianna Throssell was the other to make it from the first semi, sitting 7th in 58.38. That gives us three Australians and three Canadians in the final.


  1. James Wilby, England, 2:08.05
  2. Ross Murdoch, Scotland, 2:08.32
  3. Matt Wilson, Australia, 2:08.64

Australia’s Matt Wilson and defending champ Ross Murdoch of Scotland were the early leaders in the men’s 200 breast final, but an insane comeback by England’s James Wilby won him the gold medal. Sitting 7th at the 100, Wilby closed with back half splits of 32.38 and 32.59 to run down the early leaders and win gold in a time of 2:08.05.

Murdoch led with 50 to go, holding 32s on the 2nd and 3rd 50s, but fell off to 33.96 coming home to settle for silver in 2:08.32. He did hold off Wilson, who also closed in 33.9 to win bronze in 2:08.64. England’s Andrew Willis was 4th in 2:09.31, with Australia’s George Harley 5th in 2:10.04 and Scotland’s Craig Benson 6th in 2:10.09.


  • CG Record: 3:30.98, Australia, 2014
  1. Australia, 3:30.05 WR
  2. Canada, 3:33.92
  3. England, 3:38.40

The Australian women capped the night off spectacularly, breaking the world record in the 400 free relay in a time of 3:30.05. They break their own record of 3:30.65 set at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Shayna Jack led them off in 54.03, and then we saw incredible splits from Bronte Campbell (52.03), Emma McKeon (52.99) and Cate Campbell (51.00). Campbell’s split is the fastest in history. She was previously 51.59 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which was the fastest split prior to tonight based on what we could find.

Canada took silver, with Alexia Zevnik (53.95), Kayla Sanchez (53.82), Penny Oleksiak (54.33) and Taylor Ruck (51.82). Ruck joins an elusive club that includes both Campbell sisters, Femke Heemskerk and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of swimmers who have split sub-52.

England took bronze in 3:38.40, with a notable 53.82 leg from Anna Hopkin.

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6 years ago
6 years ago

Australia’s team for Commonwealth Games will not necessarily be the same team as for Pan Pacs. They have Trials for Pan Pacs at the start of July in Adelaide.

6 years ago

Hasn’t Britta steffen also split sub 52 back in the suit era?

Reply to  USA
6 years ago

2009, Rome, 51.99

Reply to  USA
6 years ago

2009, Rome, 51.99 in the 4×100 medley final.

6 years ago

Canada would have been 3:31 if Penny had swam at her best. Think about THAT. Watch out, world!

Reply to  colint
6 years ago

Canada has a TON of potential if everyone swims their best.

Reply to  colint
6 years ago

Australia had a 54plus.. imagine if all four Aussies swam at their best!

6 years ago

Are you serious? For the Aussie the CG in home soil are THE 2018 event. Many of this swimmer won’t even compete in the Pan Pacs (Bronte, Cartwright, ecc.)…

Reply to  Emanuele
6 years ago

Yeah is more important a minor event like the Pan Pacs than the CG in homesoil that bring money and sponsorship to Australian athletes. After all Mike in Dallas say so….

Reply to  Emanuele
6 years ago

Are you serious??? I think a World Record speaks volumes “about their abilities and ways of training.” The Aussies like swimming at home… there’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody disses the Americans for their SCY records despite the fact that NCAA swimming is more about tight turns than actual swimming.

mark in australia
Reply to  Emanuele
6 years ago

Hey you do realise they are still competing at Pan Pacs.
There will be a separate selection event for Pan Pacs
Athlete Funding for SAL is determined from Pan Pacs
Hardly avoiding competition. America avoids Peaty at 3-4 meets a quadrennial because he swims European Champs and Comm Games.
Same could be argued for everytime aamerica goes and beats up chile and venezuela at pan americans?

Tammy Touchpad Error
6 years ago

Missy who? Also 51.00 just whaaaat??

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Tammy Touchpad Error
6 years ago

Swimming gets faster as time progresses. You wouldn’t compare Matt Biondi to Ian Thorpe.

mark in australia

Missy is 20 and still swimming?
hardly Matt Biondi

6 years ago

I’m interested in seeing Campbell go for sjostroms world record. Tired of Australian 100 free favorited blowing it at the big meet every year.

6 years ago

It looked to me that Cate’s second 50 was the difference as she pulled away from the red WR line. At the final turn she was 0.11 behind WR pace but finished smashing the record by 0.6 seconds, a 0.71 improvement from her Rio last 50 split.

Reply to  Boknows34
6 years ago

Normally she swims the 100m freestyle the other way around, charging forward in the first half. If that’s a new strategy for her, it seems to be working.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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