GLASGOW, Scotland, July 25. THE second night of the Commonwealth Games proved to be exciting with close finishes throughout the evening. Team Australia, meanwhile, had the strongest night of them all with four gold medals by the time all was said and done, including a monster double by Thomas Fraser-Holmes who won the 200 free and took silver in the 400 IM.
Men’s 50 fly
England’s Ben Proud shot through the 23-second barrier with a British and meet record time of 22.93 in the sprint fly. He cleared the previous top time in the world of 23.01 set by Cesar Cielo at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet. His time also beat his previous British record of 23.10 set at the 2013 World Championship Trials from last summer.
Proud beat some South African heavyhitters as Roland Schoeman (23.13) and Chad le Clos (23.36) picked up silver and bronze in the finale. Schoeman still remains third in the world with a 23.07 from the South African Nationals, while le Clos improved to 11th in the world rankings with his swim.
That’s Schoeman’s fourth consecutive 50 fly medal at the Commonwealth Games: gold in ’06, silver in ’02, bronze in ’10.
England’s Adam Barrett (23.43), Cayman Islands’ Brett Fraser (23.66), Australia’s Jayden Hadler (23.76), Singapore’s Joseph Schooling (23.96) and Australia’s Christopher Wright (23.97) rounded out the championship finale.
Women’s 50 breast
Although Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson had been tearing up the sprint breaststroke qualifying rounds, moving up to third in the world with a 30.49 in semis, Australia’s Leiston Pickett had the top time when it counted with a victory in the 50 this evening.
Pickett raced her way to a 30.59 to touchout Atkinson (30.67) to defend her Commonwealth Games title from 2010. Pickett charged up the rankings to fifth in the world with the swim, while Atkinson had to settle for silver in the process. Scotland’s Corrie Scott had a swift bronze-winning effort of 30.75, just off her sixth-ranked 30.64 from semis.
England’s Sophie Taylor (31.08), Canada’s Tera van Beilen (31.22), Scotland’s Kathryn Johnstone (31.47), Australia’s Lorna Tonks (31.48) and Scotland’s Andrea Strachan (31.99) also vied for the sprint breaststroke title.
Men’s 200 free
Australia went 1-2 in the men’s 200-meter free finale with Thomas Fraser-Holmes overhauling teammate Cameron McEvoy down the stretch. McEvoy looked to be running away with the swim through the first 125 meters before Fraser-Holmes turned on the afterburners.
Fraser-Holmes closed out the swim with a 1:45.08 for the win to move to the top of the world rankings. He beat the 1:45.25 set by Tae Hwan Park at Korean Nationals. McEvoy, meanwhile, took second in 1:45.56, just off his now third-ranked 1:45.46 from Australian Nationals. Wales’ Calum Jarvis snatched bronze with a time of 1:46.53 to jump to ninth in the world rankings.
Australia’s David McKeon (1:46.74), Scotland’s Robbie Renwick (1:46.79), England’s James Guy (1:46.84), New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley (1:48.11) and England’s Nick Grainger (1:49.69) also competed in the championship heat.
Men’s 400 IM
Scotland’s Dan Wallace earned the host nation’s third gold medal of the meet with a huge comeback win in the distance medley. Wallace powered his way to a 4:11.20 for the win, just off his fourth-ranked season best of 4:11.04 from prelims of the event.
South Africa’s Sebastiean Rousseau had pushed out to a big lead with a 3:12.17 at the 300-meter mark with Wallace second at the time in 3:13.44, but Wallace turned on the jets down the stretch with the victory. Rousseau spent most of his energy through the first 300 and actually settled for bronze with a 4:13.09 as Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes also moved past him for silver with a 4:12.04.
Fraser-Holmes still stands third in the world with a 4:10.68 from Australian Nationals, while Rousseau jumped to eighth in the world with his third-place swim.
England’s Roberto Pavoni (4:14.42), Scotland’s Lewis Smith (4:16.17), Australia’s Travis Mahoney (4:18.51), Canada’s Luke Reilly (4:19.72) and Scotland’s Ross Muir (4:21.50) also contended for the title tonight.
Women’s 100 free S8
Australia’s Maddison Elliott raced her way to a Paralympic world record in the women’s 100-meter S8 with a time of 1:05.32. That performance beat the previous mark of 1:05.63 set by Paralympic star Jessica Long at the 2012 London Paralympics. England’s Stephanie Slater nearly cleared the record as well with a 1:05.73 for second. Australia’s Lakeisha Patterson took third overall in 1:08.98.
Men’s 100 back
England’s Chris Walker-Hebborn raced his way to victory in the finale with a meet-record time of 53.12. He touched just behind Australia’s Ben Treffers at the 50, 26.03 to 26.08, but had a much more superior final 50 to clinch gold. His time bettered his season best of 53.30 from earlier in qualifying, but still did not clear Kosuke Hagino (53.08) for third in the world rankings.
Australia’s Mitch Larkin managed to win silver with a time of 53.59, but has been faster this year with a fifth-ranked 53.46 from Australian Nationals. England’s Liam Tancock and Australia’s Josh Beaver shared the bronze with matching times of 53.75.
Treffers, who led at the 50, faded to fifth overall with a time of 53.84, while New Zealand’s Corey Main captured sixth in 54.40. Scotland’s Craig McNally (54.54) and Canada’s Russell Wood (54.56) also put up times in the championship finale.
Women’s 100 fly
It took every bit of the final split of 30.52 to catch England’s Siobhan O’Connor, but Canada’s Katerine Savard raced her way to a Games-record performance of 57.40 for the win. She’s been faster this year with a third-ranked 57.27 at Canadian Nationals, but that wasn’t her aim tonight. A Commonwealth Games championship was her primary goal.
O’Connor, who led at the 50 with a 26.67, wound up taking second overall in 57.45 in what proved to be one of the most exciting finishes of the night. O’Connor eclipsed her season best of 57.57 to move up to sixth in the world rankings this year. That is her third silver of the meet already as she took second in the 200 free and in the 400 free relay on night one.
Australia’s Emma McKeon has been busy so far, winning bronze with a 57.66. That’s her third medal of the meet as she opened the meet last night with two golds in the 200 free and 400 free relay.
Australia’s Alicia Coutts (58.21), England’s Rachael Kelly (58.61), Wales’ Jemma Lowe (58.63), Canada’s Audrey Lacroix (58.78) and Australia’s Ellen Gandy (58.93) also swam in the finale.
Men’s 400 free relay
South Africa gave Australia all it could handle before Cameron McEvoy shut the door with a sizzling anchor in the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay tonight.
The foursome of Tommaso D’Orsogna (49.26), Matt Abood (48.77), James Magnussen (47.49) and McEvoy (47.92) raced its way to a meet record time of 3:13.44 with its first lead in the race not coming until McEvoy’s anchor leg.
South Africa front-loaded its relay with Chad le Clos (48.53) and Roland Schoeman (48.78) getting the squad out to a lead with a 1:37.31 at the 200. Leith Shankland then split a 48.14 as South Africa still led with a 2:25.45 going into the anchor. Caydon Muller just couldn’t handle McEvoy’s speed as he posted a 49.72 final split en route to a 3:15.17 for silver.
England’s Adam Brown (49.47), James Disney-May (48.81), Adam Barrett (49.04) and Ben Proud (49.05) picked up bronze in the final event of the night with a 3:16.37.
Scotland (3:17.66), Canada (3:19.68), Wales (3:19.82), New Zealand (3:19.88) and Singapore (3:20.98) also turned in times in the finale.
Women’s 50 free
After losing her Games record to Cate Campbell’s 24.17 in the first semifinal, England’s Fran Halsall returned fire in the second semifinal with a 24.14. Halsall jumped up to third in the world with the swim behind only Sarah Sjostrom (23.98) and Campbell (24.13) as Halsall and Campbell have set up a big-time battle in the finale.
Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace qualified a bit back in third with a 24.42 to move up to sixth in the world rankings, while Australia’s Melanie Schlanger clinched fourth in 24.59. Australia’s Bronte Campbell (24.62), England’s Amy Smith (25.09), Canada’s Victoria Poon (25.15) and Scotland’s Sian Harkin (25.29) also made the finale.
With three Aussies making the finale, it would be nice to see a time trial women’s 200-meter freestyle relay here at the Commonwealth Games with those swimmers all on point.
Men’s 100 breast
England’s Adam Peaty smashed a Games and British record in semifinal two to make his way to the finale as he clocked a 59.16. That effort beat his 59.25 set just a month ago in Spain at the Gran Premi International meet. He still has a bit to go to clear Christian Sprenger’s world-leading 58.87 from the Australian National Championships.
Sprenger, as we previously reported today, has been battling a shoulder injury and that ailment kept him out of finals as the defending champion wound up 10th with a 1:01.73.
Three other swimmers besides Peaty cleared 1:00 to make the championship heat as Scotland’s Ross Murdoch (59.72), South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh (59.91) and New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders (59.98) qualified second through fourth.
Scotland’s Craig Benson (1:00.40), Canada’s Richard Funk (1:00.51), Wales’ Rob Holderness (1:00.71) and England’s James Wilby (1:00.94) also snagged transfer spots into the finale. Of note in the semifinal was the Bahamas national record by Dustin Tynes, who posted a 1:03.39 to take down Jeremy Knowles’ 2008 record of 1:03.78. Tynes was part of the U.S. national high school record-setting 200 medley relay team from The Baylor School earlier this year.
Women’s 100 back
Five separate 59s went up on the board during an incredibly strong set of semifinals. Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who leads the world with a scorching 58.92 from Aussie Nationals earlier this year, qualified first in 59.59, while Wales’ Georgia Davies claimed second in 59.63.
Davies bettered her season best of 59.78, but did not move out of her fifth-ranked spot in the world rankings. Canada’s Sinead Russell pocketed the third seed with a 59.91, while Australia’s Belinda Hocking and England’s Elizabeth Simmonds tied for the fourth seed with 59.98s in the first semifinal.
Canada’s Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:00.26), Australia’s Madi Wilson (1:00.34) and England’s Lauren Quigley (1:00.37) all picked up lanes in the championship finale.
When available, full results will be here: http://results.glasgow2014.com/dailyschedule.html?day=20140725&sport=SW