Commonwealth Countdown: Peaty Primed For Breaststroke History


  • Thursday, April 5th – Tuesday, April 10th (swimming)
  • Optus Aquatic Centre, Gold Coast, Australia
  • Prelims at 10:30am local (8:30pm previous night EDT)
  • Finals at 7:30pm local (5:30am EDT)
  • Official Commonwealth Games website
  • Entries

Just under 7 years after having been announced as host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia is ready to welcome athletes from around the world to compete at its newly renovated Optus Aquatic Centre. The swimming competition will be spread out over 7 days, with events in the 200m range and longer headed straight to finals after prelims, while the shorter events will follow the prelims-semifinals-finals format.

The men’s breaststroking events fall on days 1, 2 and 4 on the Gold Coast, with the athletes kicking off their campaigns with the 200m breaststroke on Thursday, April 5th. 2 out of the top 3 finishers from the 2014 edition of the Games will be back to defend their medals, including Scottish gold medalist Ross Murdoch.

Murdoch blasted onto the international scene at the last Games with a huge gold win over favorite Michael Jamieson, his fellow countryman who won a historic gold in the event at the 2012 Olympic Games. Finishing in 3rd place behind Jamieson was England’s Andrew Willis, also competing this year, hoping to upgrade to a higher step on the podium.

Although not dominant in the 200m distance (yet), England’s Adam Peaty is synonymous around the world with the word breaststroke and the powerhouse will prove to be a presence among the field. His personal best rests at the 2:08.34 produced in 2015, but the Derby native has scarcely raced the even to gather more recent data.

Up-and-comer James Wilby will be representing England as well in the race, giving the nation 3 quality medal opportunities. Wilby is tied for the 10th fastest time in the world at the moment with the 2:10.29 he threw down at England’s Winter Nationals last year.

But it’s Australia’s Matthew Wilson who crushed a speedy 2:08.31 at his nation’s Trials to position himself as a podium favorite if he can repeat the performance. With a roaring Aussie home crowd behind him, that may just give the young 19-year-old what he needs to bring home the gold.

The untouchable Peaty is seeking to extend his almost 4-year long winning streak in the men’s 100m breaststroke. He is the reigning Olympic champion, world record holder and overall king of this event, holding the Commonwealth Games records in the 100m in 58.94, a time he can almost do in his sleep.

But Australian Olympian Jake Packard will have his home crowd behind him, giving him energy to perhaps fire off a new personal best and at least prove to be a worthy silver medalist behind Peaty.

Lurking in the sprint fields is the ever-present South African Cameron van der Burgh, who is primed to sneak in and spoil the Peaty party, with his better chance coming in the 50m breaststroke. Peaty proved he is mortal, at least in the short course version of the splash n’ dash, being beaten down to 3rd place at last year’s European Short Course Championships.

Picks for Men’s 50m breaststroke:

  1. Adam Peaty, England
  2. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa
  3. Jake Packard, Australia

Picks for Men’s 100m breaststroke:

  1. Adam Peaty, England
  2. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa
  3. James Wilby, England

Picks for Men’s 200m breaststroke:

  1. Ross Murdoch, Scotland
  2. Matthew Wilson, Australia
  3. Andrew Willis, England

In This Story

Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
15 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo



Is he swimming the 200??


According to the entry list:

It’s 3 entries per home nation so a lot more spaces than a GB World Champs or Olympic team.

Can’t wait to see him take it out in a 58 low and try bring it home.


If he can bring it home in 1:08-09 which is a pretty big fade he’d have a pretty good time


He went out in 60.68 at 2016 trials and came back in 71.

When those big guns get full of lactic, it’s a deep burn.

If he’s going to have a serious run at training for it though, this is the year, as he’s got the 100 sewn up.


He has spoken about this before; They seem to think 60/65 is the perfect race and something they’ve looked at a lot. Think we’ll see a real run at it in 2021/2022 – As legacy is huge to Adam. He desperately wants to defend in the 100 in 2020 with a time that will stand for decades.

Double Arm Freestyle

I think if he wants the WR he’d need to split 59.3 at the 100. He has far more speed than the rest of the field so he should really take advantage of it so when he fades he’s still there


I think you are correct! 2’05 is WOW… Mel will get him to that for sure!


I’m curious to see what shape Peaty’s in. Last uear he focused almost exclusively on the 50, leading tp a slightly sub par 100, but an amazing sub 26 50 breast. Maybe he focused on the 100 this time…


Yep sub par 100 going 57. Can’t break a world record every race mate

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!