Ben Treffers
Courtesy of: Swimming Australia
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!

Commentary by Jeff Commings

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 11. AS the only man in the Commonwealth nations to break 25 seconds in the 50 backstroke this year with a 24.54, Ben Treffers looks like the clear-cut favorite to win the sprint event in Glasgow. Like the other 50-meter events, this could also be an unpredictable race and put the Aussie on his heels.


Liam Tancock is the defending champion, but his lack of hard training in 2013 while he recovered from shoulder injury might affect his ability to get back to the top of the podium. Tancock will not only have to get past Treffers in the final, but his fellow Englishman Chris Walker-Hebborn. Three of the other Commonwealth swimmers globally ranked in the top 25 in the 50 backstroke -- Robert Hurley, Gerhard Zandberg and Daniel Arnamnart -- are not on their respective country's rosters, so this is shaping up to be a toss-up in terms of picking medalists.

Men's 50 backstroke medal prediction:
Gold:
Ben Treffers, Australia
Silver: Chris Walker-Hebborn, England
Bronze: Liam Tancock, England

The gold and silver medalists in the women's 50 backstroke from 2010, Sophie Edington and Gemma Spofforth, are retired, leaving the joint bronze medalists from Delhi as the hot favorites in Glasgow. Georgia Davies and Emily Seebohm tied with times of 28.33. Both have swum under 28 seconds in 2014 already, with Davies slightly ahead with a 27.80 to Seebohm's 27.95. Sandwiched between them in the world rankings is Lauren Quigley, which would make this a race to be decided by hundredths of a second.

On paper, the advantage goes to Davies and Quigley, with both making the 50 back final at world championships last year. The two seem to specialize in the shorter distance more than Seebohm, though you can't underestimate Seebohm's speed when it matters most. The 50 back final comes after the 100 back, which Seebohm is picked to win, and that could give her a boost for the shorter backstroke race.

Women's 50 backstroke medal prediction:
Gold:
Emily Seebohm, Australia
Silver: Georgia Davies, Wales
Bronze: Lauren Quigley, England

Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below:

800/1500 freestyle

200 individual medley

50 freestyle

50 breaststroke

100 backstroke

200 butterfly