PHOENIX, Arizona, August 23. THE 2014 Commonwealth Games will be the first major international swimming championship next summer, offering the best swimmers from countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Earlier this week, organizers announced that the meet will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 24 to 29. This meet has often been one of the fastest in the years when the Olympics and world championships are not held, and has the potential to do the same, as 13 individual world championship medalists from Barcelona are likely to participate. The 2010 championships in India was plagued by intestinal issues for a few swimmers, but was also where Chad Le Clos claimed his first major international victory in the 200 fly. Alicia Coutts and James Magnussen made major debuts at the meet in India as well.
One month later, some of the nations will fly to Australia to participate in the Pan Pacific championships, while the rest will swim in the European championships in Berlin. Both meets will take place at virtually the same time, as Pan Pacs is scheduled for August 20-25, while Europeans will take place August 18-24. Every country puts a strong focus on the Commonwealth Games, and the top countries will also work to hold tapers for the second championship meet in August.
What makes these meets interesting is that the territories that make up the United Kingdom — England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — will compete separately at the Commonwealth Games, then band together as Great Britain to race at the European championships. As two of the four “charter nations,” Canada and Australia are contractually obligated to compete at the Pan Pacific championships and field top teams.
While the Pan Pacific championships is mostly for nations that border the Pacific Ocean, organizers have opened it up to countries that don’t get to compete in the European championships, such as Brazil.