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 21. CHAD Le Clos’ quest to become the king of butterfly will continue through the Commonwealth Games. By the time the 100 fly final rolls around on the second-to-last day of the meet, he will definitely have won the 200 fly and could also win the 50 fly (though top-end speed is not his strongest suit). Could he make it a gold medal sweep of the butterfly events in Glasgow?
No one appears to present a challenge to the South African. Le Clos won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and the gold medal at last year’s world championships. No other Commonwealth swimmer appeared in either of those finals, which bodes well for an easy victory for Le Clos. He’ll likely not cruise to victory, however, as he’ll be looking to end the long course season as the fastest in the event. Michael Phelps and a host of Europeans will be looking to unseat him in late August.
Australia’s duo of Chris Wright and Tommaso D’Orsogna will need to get under 51 seconds if they want to scare Le Clos out of his comfort zone. Both are on the verge of doing so, but if Le Clos is on target for a sub-51 swim, it’s all over. I would pick Ben Proud as a possible medalist, but his strength is in the 50-meter event.
Men’s 100 butterfly medal predictions:
Gold: Chad Le Clos, South Africa
Silver: Tommaso D’Orsogna, Australia
Bronze: Chris Wright, Australia
Like Le Clos, Alicia Coutts has a lock on 100 fly gold in Glasgow, which she also won in 2010. She won bronze in the 100 fly in the London Olympics and silver at worlds last year. If anyone can ruin her chances of taking this event, it’s Canada’s Katerine Savard. After setting a national record time of 57.27 at Canadian nationals, she has the ability to post an upset. Coutts has only swum a 57.60 this year, but didn’t need to do much to make the Australian team. Expect her to be in the mid-56 range, and she might pull Savard under the barrier as well.
Noemie Thomas is also having a great summer, and that could give her the opportunity to keep a couple of major names off the podium. Ellen Gandy won silver in 2010 in the 100 fly for England, and will be looking to get back on the medal stand as an Australian. Jemma Lowe was the bronze medalist in 2010 and is the one who could get past a crowded field to get on the podium – with a bit of help from her fellow Brits in the crowd. Fran Halsall is better in the 50 fly but might put together a great swim when it matters most.
Women’s 100 butterfly medal predictions:
Gold: Alicia Coutts, Australia
Silver: Katerine Savard, Canada
Bronze: Jemma Lowe, Wales
Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below: