Men’s 1500m Freestyle – Commonwealth Games Preview- Ryan Cochrane Looking To Defend His Title

MEN’s 1500m FREESTYLE – PREVIEW

  • Commonwealth Games 2014. Glasgow, Scotland. July 24-August 2
  • 1500m Freestyle – Tuesday July 29th
  • Defending Commonwealth 1500m freestyle champion- Ryan Cochrane (Canada) 15:01.49
  • 1500m freestyle Commonwealth Games record- Kieren Perkins (Australia) 14:41.66 (1994)

The 1500m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games look as though it’s going to be between Canadian distance star Ryan Cochrane and a pack of wild Aussies and Brits nipping at his heels. As an event that has been dominated by Commonwealth swimmers, the history of this event at the Games is unlike many others which should turn it into a bloodbath in the water.

Despite the obvious fact that Ryan Cochrane has the most international experience in the event, which include hardware from almost every single international competition you can think of, Mack Horton has been having a stellar year distance wise and is currently the top ranked Commonwealth swimmer in both the 800 and 1500m freestyles.

The Australian has already been a 7:53.88 this year in the 800 and a 14:51.55 in the 1500. I’d peg that 1500m freestyle as a more impressive swim, however I think he’ll need to be faster than that if he wants to beat the likes of Ryan Cochrane. Horton is currently seeded second in the event as Cochrane put his seed as the time he swam at Worlds last summer. Horton hasn’t really shown anything that makes me believe he’ll beat Cochrane. He’s young and will need to have the race of his life to stick with the Canadian.

Cochrane isn’t known for his in-season swimming, usually throwing down one big race at the end of each season as a result of the tough swimming he does at the National Training Centre in Victoria, BC. Cochrane’s sprints have improved this year, and as he said in an earlier interview with us that this was a year to try new things. Cochrane’s main focus is the Commonwealth Games right off the bat, and as a lot of new surges of optimism for the Canadian team have been flowing through Swimming Canada, we could see him do something special such as get close to or break Kieren Perkins’ Commonwealth Games record.

I believe that Cochrane should win it over a guy like Horton no problem. The reason for that being is no Sun Yang. I think Cochrane thrives at being a star, and in recent years he’s had to settle for silver to some of the greatest distance swimmers we’ve ever seen which include the likes of Sun Yang and Ous Mellouli. Given the chance to repeat as Commonwealth champion in both events will drive Cochrane to a better result. Having open water in front of him and taking control of the race will only make him faster. Personally, I think he’s untouchable in these races, but there are some others who would beg to differ including Daniel Fogg from England.

Fogg is the third fastest Commonwealth swimmer this year in the 1500m freestyle. He was a 14:59.86 this season, nothing spectacular, but he should be able to throw something together that will get him into finals. Fogg earned himself a bronze medal in this event at Commonwealths back in 2010, which has been his only major international medal. Fogg won’t be close to Cochrane in my opinion, unless Cochrane has an absolutely terrible race day. Fogg has been a consistant eighth in the world since the 2012 Olympic Games in major competition, and didn’t even break 15-minutes at either the 2012 Olympics or 2013 Worlds. There’s no doubt that he could get a medal, but a gold, I’m going to say no.

Jordan Harrison from Australia is a swimmer that could definitely get himself on the podium. The Australian will be swimming right beside defending champion Ryan Cochrane in the morning heats, so he’ll get a taste of what it’s going to be like to challenge some of the big guys in finals. Harrison did the second best behind Cochrane out of all Commonwealth swimmers at last year’s World Championships with a sixth place finish in the 1500. His time though wasn’t fantastic, and most likely won’t get him on the podium here in Glasgow.

At the 2013 Australian nationals, Harrison was a 14:51.02. He’s trained by legendary coach Denis Cotterell, so it’s clear that he should have the training to back up a fast swim.

I’m picturing an early lead by Cochrane as Mack Horton chases him down from behind to try and stay with him. Behind the two of them will be Daniel Fogg and Jordan Harrison neck-and-neck fighting for the bronze medal. Ultimately I think Cochrane will touch ahead of Horton by about 10 seconds; Fogg and Harrison around 5-7 seconds behind Horton.

With the Canadian team going to both Commonwealths and Pan Pacs, this will be a very unique experience for Cochrane having two major international meets with both equal focus in one year.

My picks:

  1. Ryan Cochrane (Canada) PB- 14:39.63
  2. Mack Horton (Australia) PB- 14:51.55
  3. Jordan Harrison (Australia) PB- 14:51.02
  4. Daniel Fogg (England) PB- 14:55.30

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I think Horton’s going to make this a much closer race in the 1500 than 10 seconds. I’m a huge Cochrane fan, but I think if Horton can leverage his long stroke length to hang with Mr. Cochrane through the 1400, Mr. Horton might have the edge in youthful exuberance and closing speed to win that. Regardless, this race should be one of the highlights of the Commonwealth Games.

Ryan Weal

Don’t underestimate foggs ability I think he will be challenging for all the medals on the podium. It will be a great race

FRAZER

Jordan Harrison could be the dark horse here, I think he had a fair bit of disruption to his swimming training after breaking his wrist after the world championships. I think its all only just coming good now. Jordan has what it takes to win this.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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