Each day through July 23, Swimming World's Jeff Commings and David Rieder will offer medal predictions in the 19 swimming events on tap at the Commonwealth Games, which begins July 24 in Glasgow, Scotland. We invite you to offer your picks in our Reaction Time comments section below!
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
Commentary by Jeff Commings
PHOENIX, Arizona, July 9. BEFORE Siobhan-Marie O'Connor won the 200 IM at the British nationals in April, Alicia Coutts was the clear favorite to win the shorter medley at the Commonwealth Games. Last month at the Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona, O'Connor put up a 2:09.63 to inch closer the No. 1 world ranking posted by Coutts and give the Commonwealth Games the chance to see two swimmers under 2:10 in the event later this month.
Only at the Olympics and world championships have we seen more than one woman dip under 2:10 in the 200 IM in the same race since the banning of the polyurethane suits in 2010. This would bring much prestige to the Commonwealth Games and put pressure on the rest of the world. Coutts still looks good to defend her title from 2010, but will have a little bit of pressure from the 18-year-old O'Connor.
O'Connor was a finalist in the 200 IM at the world championships last year, where Coutts won silver, and the experience will give the Brit confidence going into the race this month in Scotland. O'Connor's two sub-2:10 swims this year have come without much competition. Can she put the pressure of the Commonwealth Games aside to get under the barrier again?
Australia's Emily Seebohm has been under 2:10 before in her career, but has focused a lot on backstroke in the past two years. If she can at least get into the low-2:10 range, she'll be able to bump Aimee Willmott off the podium.
Women's 200 IM medal predictions
Gold: Alicia Coutts, Australia
Silver: Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, England
Bronze: Aimee Willmott, England
A look at the current world rankings in the men's 200 IM would suggest an exciting three-way battle on tap in Scotland. Australians Daniel Tranter and Thomas Fraser-Holmes will face off against South African Chad Le Clos, and all have posted times within three tenths of each other this year.
The 200 IM comes at the end of what will be a busy four days for Le Clos in Glasgow, and that might affect his performance in the final. Tranter and Fraser-Holmes will not be as physically worn down, and that could be a mental advantage for the Aussies. All three swam lifetime bests in 2014, and will need to do so again to reach the top of the medal podium. Give the edge to Le Clos, who is likely looking to solidify his international standing in the event two years out from the Rio Olympics.
Men's 200 IM medal prediction
Gold: Chad Le Clos, South Africa
Silver: Daniel Tranter, Australia
Bronze: Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Australia
Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below:
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