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 (PDF)
- Live Results
As was expected, there were big lineup changes in the middle of the pool on Tuesday at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the mixed 400 medley relay.
Full Relay Lineups, Top 4 Qualifiers:
- Lane 3, Canada: Kylie Masse, James Dergousoff, Maggie MacNeil, Ruslan Gaziev
- Lane 4: Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple, Emma McKeon
- Lane 5: Lauren Cox, James Wilby, James Guy, Freya Anderson
- Lane 6: Pieter Coetze, Lara van Niekerk, Chad le Clos, Aimee Canny
Noticeably absent from those lineups are a handful of swimming superstars. That includes Australia’s Kyle Chalmers, as they’ve opted for a F-M-M-F lineup, and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who has been left out in favor of Lara van Niekerk, who was faster in both the prelims and semifinals of the 100 breaststroke this week.
It’s worth noting that because of the compact Commonwealth Games schedule, most of the participants in this relay will have doubles on the evening.
Australian Lineup Comparison:
- Actual: McKeown (58.60), Stubblety-Cook (59.80), Temple (51.52semi), McKeon (52.04r) = 3:41.96
- Theoretical: McKeown (58.60), Stubblety-Cook (59.80), McKeon (56.38), Chalmers (47.02r) = 3:41.80
Based on the above addups, which are done with times from this week on the best apples-to-apples comparison, show that the other most sensible lineup creates basically a wash on projected time.
Australia doesn’t have a top-tier female breaststroker right now, so that cements the already-dogma choice of a male breaststroker in Stubblety-Cook. Likewise, Australia’s male backstrokers are struggling, so that leaves McKeown as the clear choice there.
But then on the backend, they have three swimmers who are all performing well to choose from for two spots. McKeon has to be in that group, but luckily she swims well in either of those two closing legs.
The decision then in part comes down to coaches’ gut feelings. What’s interesting, though, is that they chose the two who already have races on Tuesday evening: McKeon will swim in the 100 free final and Temple in the 100 fly final. Chalmers dropped the 100 fly, so he doesn’t have any other races to worry about.
The truth of the matter is that when it comes down to it, the difference is only in time, not in place: no other country will come close to Australia in this relay.
Key Notes from Other Medal Contenders:
- England dropped Edward Mildred from its lineup even after a strong 51.58 split in prelims. Mildred is at the meet only on relay duties, and is swimming very well, but he was swapped out for England’s best “relay leg” James Guy, who has a reputation for stepping up big in team races. It’s a risky move, because Guy has the 100 fly final, and wasn’t great in the 400 free relay, where he split 48.70, but it was a spot that was probably ascribed to him long before the meet began.
- South Africa’s relay, which was 4th in prelims, went through a full-swap for finals, and on paper it’s a very good one that could pull an upset. Pieter Coetze won the men’s 100 back, Lara van Niekerk appears destined to win the women’s 100 breast, and Chad Le Clos is the #2 seed in the 100 fly. The weakness here is Aimee Canny, the anchor, who qualified through 6th in the women’s 100 free. Already at a disadvantage due to the female breaststroker, she’ll need to step up with a big finals swim for SA to land on the podium.
- Ruslan Gaziev got the nod on Canada’s finals anchor ahead of the country’s incumbent top male swimmer Josh Liendo. Gaziev (48.54) was faster in the 100 free final than Liendo (48.66), which likely was the decision-maker.