2022 Commonwealth Games: Day 3 Finals Preview

2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

  • Friday, July 29 – Wednesday, August 3, 2022
  • Birmingham, England
  • Sandwell Aquatic Center
  • Start Times
    • Prelims: 10:30 am local / 5:30 am ET
    • Finals: 7:00 pm local / 2:00 pm ET
  • LCM (50m)
  • Meet Central
  • Event Schedule
  • Entry List
  • Entries (in seed order) – h/t to Troyy
  • Live Results

It’s day 3 of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and we have a slightly more relaxed schedule for finals. It should be no less exciting though, with breaststroke superstars Tatjana Schoenmaker and Adam Peaty both racing finals tonight, as well as the Australian women aiming for a podium sweep in the women’s 50 free.

Day 3 Finals Schedule

  • Men’s 50 Back Semifinals
  • Women’s 50 Fly Semifinals
  • Men’s 200 Fly Final
  • Women’s 100 Back S8 Final
  • Men’s 100 Breast SB8 Final
  • Women’s 50 Free Final
  • Men’s 100 Free Semifinals
  • Women’s 200 Breast Final
  • Women’s 100 Back Final
  • Men’s 100 Breast Final
  • Women’s 4×200 Free Relay Final

Men’s 200 Fly

Newly crowned 400 IM champion Lewis Clareburt surged past Chad Le Clos in their prelims heat to touch in 1:56.76 and claim the top spot heading into tonight’s final. Le Clos is the defending champion in this event and in the morning, held to his usual strategy of going out fast and trying to hold on. To make that strategy translate into a gold medal tonight, he’ll have to execute perfectly; the field contains the entire 400 IM podium in Clareburt, Duncan Scott (the 2018 bronze medalist), and Brendon Smithall of whom are capable of a strong close.

We saw Jay Lelliot give a late charge in prelims, and Bowen Gough and James Guy are also sure to be in the mix.

If Le Clos hangs on for a medal, he’ll move into a tie for the most all-time Commonwealth Games medals, with 18.

Women’s S8 100 Back

New Zealand’s Tupou Neiufi who comes into the women’s S8 100 back final with the fastest entry time, 1:16.84. That’s almost six seconds ahead of the next fastest entrant, Wales’ Lily Rice; a great sign for Neiufi who’ll try to deliver another gold medal for New Zealand.

However, the 2018 defending champion, Alice Tai, will swim in lane one. She has no entry time, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on her–she’s a threat for some serious outside smoke. Earlier at this meet, she placed sixth in the women’s S9 100 freestyle.

Men’s SB8 100 Breast

The 2018 silver and bronze medalists, Timothy Hodge and Blake Cochrane return to defend their medals–or possibly upgrade them. Hodge already set a Games record in the men’s S9 100 backstroke in Birmingham, so we know he’s on form. He also has the fastest entry time of 1:14.94, about two seconds ahead of Cochrane.

Cochrane sits comfortably about four seconds ahead of the next fastest seed. With only five entrants, four of them from Oceania and both Hodge and Cochrane Aussies, it looks like we’ll continue to see Australia dominate here.

Women’s 50 Free

We’ve already seen multiple Australian podium sweeps and we’re set for another one here in the women’s 50 free. The trio of Shayna JackEmma McKeon, and Meg Harris have dominated the rounds, going 1-2-3 in both the prelims and the semifinals. They’ve been so strong that it’s less a question of if they’ll sweep the podium than what order they’ll do it in. Jack qualified first in 24.33, a strong swim for her as she returns to competition after breaking her hand at Worlds.

If anyone is going to spoil the party, it’ll be England’s Anna Hopkin. She’s the only one who’s gotten close to the Aussies so far. In the semis, she was 24.66, just off the 24.60 that she swam in the semifinals at Worlds. In Budapest, she went slower in the final than she did in the semis, which can’t happen again here if she wants to be in the hunt for a medal.

Women’s 200 Breast

World record holder Tatjana Schoenmaker dominated this morning, putting up 2:21.74 for the fastest time in the field by over three seconds. It’s a huge season best for her, and sets her up nicely to repeat as the women’s 200 breast champion. SHe looked strong in prelims, and even if we’re not quite on world record watch, keep an eye on the Games record. It stands at  2:20.72, set by Liesel Jones in 2006 and Schoenmaker is more than capable of breaking it.

Behind her, Jenna Strauch, Molly Renshawand Kaylene Corbett are separated by .11 seconds, setting up a thrilling race for the silver and bronze medals. In 2018, it was Renshaw who came away with the silver in 2:23.28.

Women’s 100 Back

It’s a familiar scene in the women’s 100 back: Kylie Masse and Kaylee McKeown have held the top two spots through the rounds, and look set to go 1-2 in some order in the final. Masse been faster than McKeown through prelims and semis, but neither one has approached the speed we know them capable of, so it will be interesting to see if either one has been saving something up to unleash in the final.

Masse and McKeown have all but claimed the top two medals; however, the bronze medal race is much more open. Medi Harris was the only other woman to break 1:00 in the semis, hitting 59.84. That sets her up well to take the last step on the podium, but she’ll have to fend off Minna Atherton and Lauren Cox.

Men’s 100 Breast

Adam Peaty qualified with a 59.02, more than half a second ahead of the field. Peaty has looked strong in his return from injury, but hasn’t been as far out ahead of the field as he usually is. While he’s still the clear favorite heading into the final, it does set up an interesting race between him and second seed Zac Stubblety-Cook. Stubblety-Cook is much stronger in the 200 breast than he is in the 100, but he put together a good swim in semis, hitting 59.80.

What’s so interesting about watching these two swimmers go head-to-head is their different strategies. Peaty was out fast in the semis, turning in 27.15 in the semis, which outpaced the rest of the field considerably. Like in his 200, Stubblety-Cook relied on his back-half, coming home in 31.40 to grab his spot in the final ahead of James Wilby and Sam Williamson. It’s a big ask for Stubblety-Cook’s first 50 to keep him close enough to Peaty to be able to catch him, but it also promises a close race for the silver and bronze medals.

Women’s 4×200 Free Relay

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: the Aussies crushed the field yesterday and look set to do it again today. But if it’s possible, the Australian women might be more over-powered here than they were in the 4×100 free relay on day 2. Ariarne TitmusMollie O’Callaghan, and Madi Wilson already swept the individual 200 free podium–barring a false start or some other disaster, the Aussies will win again here, and win big.

It might take them until the second leg to establish a lead though, as Canada will most likely lead off with teen phenom Summer McIntosh. The 15-year-old clocked 1:54.92 leading off this relay in Budapest, establishing a world junior record. She showed herself to be on great form in the 400 IM, setting new Commonwealth, Canadian, and Americas records–what does she have in store for the 200 free?

Semifinals Quick Hits

  • The men’s 50 back looked like a repeat of the 100 back in prelims, as Pieter Coetze once again claimed the top spot, hitting 24.95–the only man under 25 seconds. The closest swimmer to him is New Zealand’s Andrew Jeffcoat in 25.04. After missing Worlds due to COVID-19, Coetze is having a strong showing through the first three days of these Games.
  • 100 fly champ Maggie MacNeil also claimed the top spot in the 50 distance, swimming 26.24. 100 fly runner-up Emma McKeon moved through to the semis in fourth and has a busy finals session, so don’t expect her to show her hand until the final.
  • Josh Liendo touched in 48.54 to qualify for tonight’s semifinal in first. The Budapest bronze-medalist lead his heat from start to finish, holding off Tom Dean and Zac IncertiLiendo’s teammate Stephen Calkins swam a huge best to out-touch Kyle Chalmers in their heat. Expect Chalmers to be faster than his qualifying time of 48.98 and with Duncan Scott also in the field (though pulling a 200 fly/100 free double) this should be a tight race to secure a lane in the final.

 

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Yozhik
2 months ago

So there is another chance for two world records in one race. Australians had very strong team last year in W4x200FR and indeed broke the world record. But were a little bit late with that after Chinese and American teams. This year they are looking even stronger.

commonwombat
2 months ago

M200FLY: Anyone’s guess. Great swim by Clairburt but what extra does he have ? Others have faster times to their credit but do they have the form ?

W50FLY: Hopkin is the only potential spoiler to a likely AUS podium sweep but is probably relying on one of them dropping the ball. McKeon is clearly the class of the field but this is relatively underdone McKeon therefore its a 3 way lottery. This is Jack’s optimal distance but her international pedigree is arguably lesser than her team-mates.

W200BRS: Schoenmaker procession for gold; potentially tasty scrap for minors between Strauch, Renshaw & Corbett

W100BK: Masse and McKeown are a quantum leap ahead of anyone else in this field but neither have… Read more »

Kangaroo
2 months ago

Will Peaty shave the stache?
Looking forward to the race!!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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