SwimSwam Pulse: 77% Think Commonwealth Games Will Be Faster Than Euros In 2022

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which non-World Championship meet will be faster this year:

Question: In terms of times required to medal, which competition will be faster in 2022?


  • Commonwealth Games – 77.2%
  • European Championships – 22.8%

It’s not entirely surprising to see that the Commonwealth Games came out on top in a landslide, primarily due to the fact that several big-name Australian swimmers have opted out of the World Championships in favor of the quadrennial event.

That includes the likes of individual 2021 Olympic champions Ariarne Titmus and Emma McKeon, while we’ll also see Kyle Chalmers racing freestyle in Birmingham. Chalmers was initially among the swimmers who completely opted out of Worlds, but ended up changing course after qualifying for the 100 fly at the Australian Trials.

Another individual Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo, South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, is also rumored to be bypassing the World Championships in favor of Commonwealths, though she was named to the South African roster for Budapest. Her countrymate Matt Sates has also said he’s only doing a slight taper for Worlds before going all-in on the Commonwealth Games.

So it’s abundantly clear that the Commonwealth Games are a big deal for many of the sport’s best, and as a result, it should be a fast meet.

But so will the European Championships.

The last edition of Euros came last year, just two months out from the postponed Olympic Games, and tends to be less big of a deal in the years it’s held shortly before the Games (also the case in 2012, 2016, etc.).

However, this year, many of Europe’s best will likely be targetting the meet—even over Worlds—with it coming in mid-August in Rome. Even if athletes wanted to peak for both meets, there’s a big enough gap between the two that they’ll be able to execute a double-taper.

The last time the events fell during the same year was 2018. Below you can find how the winning times stacked up against each other, and since the original question asked “in terms of times required to medal,” we’ve also included the bronze medal winning data.


Event Commonwealth Games
European Championships
M 50 FR 21.35 21.34
M 100 FR 48.02 48.01
M 200 FR 1:45.56 1:45.34
M 400 FR 3:43.76 3:45.18
M 1500 FR 14:47.09 14:36.15
M 50 BK 24.68 24.00
M 100 BK 53.18 52.53
M 200 BK 1:56.10 1:53.36
M 50 BR 26.58 26.09
M 100 BR 58.84 57.10
M 200 BR 2:08.05 2:06.80
M 50 FLY 23.37 22.48
M 100 FLY 50.65 50.64
M 200 FLY 1:54.00 1:52.79
M 200 IM 1:57.67 1:57.04
M 400 IM 4:13.12 4:10.65
M 4×100 FR-R 3:12.96 3:12.23
M 4×200 FR-R 7:05.97 7:05.32
M 4×100 MR 3:31.04 3:30.44
W 50 FR 23.78 23.74
W 100 FR 52.27 52.93
W 200 FR 1:54.81 1:54.95
W 400 FR 4:00.93 4:03.35
W 800 FR 8:20.02 8:16.45
W 50 BK 27.78 27.23
W 100 BK 58.63 59.19
W 200 BK 2:05.98 2:06.18
W 50 BR 30.6 29.81
W 100 BR 1:06.41 1:05.53
W 200 BR 2:22.02 2:21.32
W 50 FLY 25.59 25.16
W 100 FLY 56.78 56.32
W 200 FLY 2:05.45 2:07.13
W 200 IM 2:09.80 2:10.17
W 400 IM 4:34.90 4:34.17
W 4×100 FR-R 3:30.05 3:34.65
W 4×200 FR-R 7:48.04 7:51.65
W 4×100 MR 3:54.36 3:54.22


Commonwealth Games
European Championships
M 50 FR 21.92 21.68
M 100 FR 48.15* 48.24
M 200 FR 1:46.30 1:46.15
M 400 FR 3:45.32 3:47.18
M 1500 FR 14:51.05 14:42.85
M 50 BK 25.06 24.64
M 100 BK 54.14 53.72
M 200 BK 1:57.04 1:56.29
M 50 BR 27.37 27.06
M 100 BR 59.44 59.06
M 200 BR 2:08.64 2:08.54
M 50 FLY 23.73 22.97
M 100 FLY 51.5 51.42
M 200 FLY 1:56.60 1:55.97
M 200 IM 1:58.18 1:57.96
M 400 IM 4:14.42 4:14.26
M 4×100 FR-R 3:15.86 3:14.20
M 4×200 FR-R 7:09.89 7:07.58
M 4×100 MR 3:34.79 3:33.52
W 50 FR 24.26* 24.21
W 100 FR 53.08 53.35
W 200 FR 1:56.26 1:56.77
W 400 FR 4:07.35 4:05.01
W 800 FR 8:28.59 8:24.71
W 50 BK 27.90 27.70
W 100 BK 58.97 59.61
W 200 BK 2:06.82 2:07.43
W 50 BR 30.78 30.41
W 100 BR 1:07.22 1:06.54
W 200 BR 2:23.42 2:23.43
W 50 FLY 25.69 25.74
W 100 FLY 57.30 57.68
W 200 FLY 2:08.05 2:07.42
W 200 IM 2:11.74 2:10.83
W 400 IM 4:38.23 4:35.34
W 4×100 FR-R 3:38.40 3:37.03
W 4×200 FR-R 7:55.60 7:53.76
W 4×100 MR 4:00.75 3:56.91

*tie for silver

Back in 2018, while many of the winning times were close, the European Championships had a faster gold medal time in 18 of 19 events on the men’s side, while the women’s side was much more even. Euros had 10 events that were faster in terms of what it took to reach the top of the podium, while the Commonwealth Games had nine.

If we look at the times required to simply get on the podium and win bronze, it was a similar story. 17 of 19 events were quicker at Euros for the men, while Euros got 12 of 19 for the women.

However, Euros does get a bit of an unfair advantage in the relays, as Great Britain can field their best team there, and then they’re split into England and Scotland at Commonwealths.

Speaking of the Brits, Adam Peaty stands out as someone who was significantly faster at the European Championships in 2018 compared to the Commonwealth Games.

After injuring his foot and pulling out of the World Championships, it’s safe to assume that will be the case again as he’ll have a few extra weeks of training under his belt for Euros.

There’s also little question that the European countries are deeper as a whole in swimming than those that compete at the Commonwealth Games, largely due to the sheer number of nations, but particularly in 2022, the high-end talent is comparable.

Readers clearly believe that things will be different in 2022, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that will be the case.

In addition to the big-name Australians targetting the Commonwealth Games as mentioned above, the European Championships will be missing all of the Russian swimmers, who were responsible for many of those gold and bronze medal times from 2018.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Will there be any 1:43s this year?

It's been a decade – will 2022 be the year we finally see another 1:43 in the men's 200 free?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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6 months ago

Results from Tokyo …. Commonwealth 15G 12S 12B (39total) Europe 8G 15S 14B (37total)

With all the usual caveats (UK in both, missing swimmers this year etc)

Fobby Binke
Reply to  torchbearer
6 months ago

Why did Swimswam ignore Canadian girls, who were Olympics champion and medalists, who will swim fast in Commonwealth?

Reply to  Fobby Binke
6 months ago

I even noticed commentators often follow the AUS, US and Chinese women, and barely mention the Canadians….

Neil Jones
6 months ago

For depth purposes Commonwealth’s also has 3 per country so for most women’s events for sure the 3rd Aussie and then the 3rd from either CAN or GB will help fill the depth to make it comparable to Euro’s.

6 months ago


In a weird, post-covid delayed Olympic year? Doubtful.

Reply to  Meow
6 months ago

If someone does do it I would think that Popovici is the one.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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