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 10. WHILE no one will confuse New Zealand for a swimming superpower (yet), the Kiwis do bring some medal potential to Glasgow in several events, notably the women’s 800 free. Five years after helping UC-Berkeley to its first NCAA team title in women’s swimming, Lauren Boyle has grown into a real force internationally in the distance events, earning bronze medals in all three at the World Championships last year.
Boyle ended 2013 tied for third in the world with her time from Barcelona, but the woman who tied her could be her biggest competitor: Wales’ Jazmin Carlin. Both clocked times of 8:18.58, with Carlin’s time coming at the British nationals. Carlin missed out on a chance for a Worlds medal as she finished ninth in the event.
Canada’s Brittany MacLean looks like a strong medal contender after winning both the 500 and 1650 at NCAAs, while Australia’s Jessica Ashwood is one of three women (along with Katie Ledecky and Carlin) to swim under 8:20 so far this year.
Women’s 800 free medal predictions
Gold: Lauren Boyle, New Zealand
Silver: Jazmin Carlin, Wales
Bronze: Brittany MacLean, Canada
Like at the Olympics, the women will compete in the 800 at the Commonwealth Games while the men swim the 1500. Ryan Cochrane has displayed mastery of both events over the course of his career. He finished second behind Sun Yang at the 2012 Olympics and also the last two World Championships in the event, and he won gold in both the 400 and 1500 free in Delhi at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Cochrane should not be challenged, and his second-ranked time of 14:42.58 from last year would win the event comfortably.
Englishman Daniel Fogg joined Cochrane in the World Championship final last year, finishing eighth, and he is one of only five competitors to swim under the 15:00 barrier this year. Meanwhile, Australians Mack Horton and Jordan Harrison have both swum 14:51s in the past two years, and both could challenge for the podium here. Still, with a relative lack of depth in this event at the Commonwealth level, a sub-15:00 time should be enough to earn a podium spot.
Men’s 1500 free medal predictions
Gold: Ryan Cochrane, Canada
Silver: Mack Horton, Australia
Bronze: Daniel Fogg, England
Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below: