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 David Rieder
CHARLESTON, South Carolina, July 14. AS we move into predicting the relay events for the Commonwealth Games, expect consistency in the picks. That’s because Australia has one of the strongest swimming traditions in the world and certainly at the Commonwealth level. They won 13 swimming medals at the World Championships last year, while no other country besides the U.S. (29) won more than nine. That depth serves them well in the relay events, where the potential British challengers can’t field a team to match that.
The Australian women finished second at the World Championships last year, and they have Emily Seebohm (back), Alicia Coutts (fly), and Cate Campbell (free) returning from that squad. Lorna Tonks or Leiston Pickett can split under 1:07 on the breast leg, a time that any other Commonwealth nation would love to have for the weak leg.
Meanwhile, Great Britain and Canada finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at Worlds last year, and all four members of the British squad (Lauren Quigley, Sophie Allen, Jemma Lowe, and Fran Halsall) will represent England in Glasgow. Sinead Russell should provide a boost for Canada, as she brings a potential sub-1:00 backstroke split to the team, and Martha McCabe can always crank out a solid breaststroke leg.
Women’s 400 medley relay medal predictions
The only Commonwealth team in the World Champs final last year, the Australians should run away with the men’s medley relay. World champions Christian Sprenger (breast) and James Magnussen (free) will anchor the team, while Mitch Larkin or Ben Treffers (back) and Chris Wright or Tomasso D’Orsogna (fly) should provide solid splits. England could be close to the Aussies or even lead after the backstroke if Chris Walker-Hebborn provides a strong lead-off, but Sprenger’s breaststroke abilities should give the Aussies some major cushion.
England and South Africa should be the leading contenders for the silver and bronze medals here. The emergence of Adam Peaty in the 100 breast – ranked second in the world at 59.25 – allows the English to compete with the likes of Sprenger and Cameron van der Burgh on that leg, while Joe Roebuck and Adam Brown are more than serviceable to finish it off. The firepower of van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos will propel the South Africans, but, ironically enough, the lack of an ace freestyler could be their undoing.
Men’s 400 medley relay medal predictions
Bronze: South Africa
Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below: