A pair of likely medalists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Team Australia have pulled out due to injury, Swimming Australia and the country’s Comonwealth Games Association announced early Monday morning.
Backstroker Meagen Nay and Paralympian Jacqueline Freney were both scratched from the event with limited explanation.
Nay continues to battle with shoulder problems, and apparently aggravated it on a recent St. Peter’s Western team training trip to Cairns, according to an ominous Tweet on June 19th where she says that she was looking forward to a good trip, and was then returning to Brisbane to heal. She punctuated that Tweet with the hashtag “#injurysucks.”
Freney, meanwhile, seems to be more of a run-of-the-mill ‘fatigue’ explanation that has cost her some training. She does, however, still plan to compete at the Para Pan Pacs in early August in California.
“Obviously it’s very disappointing for Meagen and Jacqui having performed so well at the Trials to earn selection, but both athletes have made a decision for the long term not to risk any further injury by competing in Scotland,” Swimming Australia CEO Michael Scott said.
“Meagen has been dealing with a shoulder injury for some time now, and the break will do her good, while Jacqui has missed some training due to fatigue and will shift her focus to the Para Pan Pacs in August .”
Australia is preparing to assemble next Sunday in Manchester, England for their staging camp ahead of the swimming portion of the event that begins on August 24th. Those para swimmers pulling double duty with Pan Pacs will have a very tight travel schedule.
Nay is the defending Commonwealth Games champion in the women’s 200 backstroke from 2010, and that year was also a part of Australia’s winning 800 free relay.
She had a tough go at last year’s World Championships, finishing just 15th in the 200 back – her best event – to miss out on the final.
Nay swam very well though at Australia’s National Championships; that included a 4th-place finish in the 200 free, a second-place finish in the 50 back, third-place finish and sub-minute swim in the 100 back, and a 3rd-place finish in a very deep 200 back. She would have been a medal contender somewhere in the backstroke races.
Wilson was 3rd in the 50 back at Australian Nationals, just .01 seconds behind Nay, and is also Nay’s training partner. That makes her odds of medal’ing there just as good as Nay’s, though Wilson is not as good as the events get longer. She was a 1:00.6 in the 100 back at Australian Nationals. Wilson is, however, only 19 years old, so this is an important developmental opportunity for her in addition to those sprint medal chances.
Freney, meanwhile, is in a bit of a transitional area. She had one of the most successful Paralympic meets ever in 2012, winning 8 gold medals, but skipped the World Championships in 2013. The Para Pan Pacs are set up much more similarly to the Paralympic format, with multiple events for each division, and it is there where Freney will face the best competition from the likes of, for example, S7 rivals Cortney Jordan, who was the silver-medalist in the 50, 100, and 400 frees behind Freney in London.
The updated Commonwealth Games roster is below:
2014 Commonwealth Games Team
|First Name||Last Name||Age||Club||State|
|Grant||Irvine||23||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Mitchell||Larkin||20||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Cameron||McEvoy||19||Palm Beach Currumbin||QLD|
|Ned||McKendry||21||St Peters Western||QLD|
|David||McKeon||21||Wests Illawarra Aquatics||NSW|
|Bronte||Barratt||25||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Brittany||Elmslie||19||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Remy||Fairweather||17||Pelican Waters Caloundra||QLD|
|Madeline||Groves||18||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Emma||McKeon||19||Wests Illawarra Aquatics||NSW|
|Tessa||Wallace||20||Pelican Waters Caloundra||QLD|
|Madison||Wilson||20||St Peters Western||QLD|
|Michael||Bohl||St Peters Western||QLD|
|John||Fowlie||National Training Centre||ACT|
|Richard||Scarce||Palm Beach Currumbin||QLD|