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 18. IT has been a tough ride for the Australians in the 400 free relay lately. James Magnussen led the Aussies to a stunning world title in the event in 2011 as part of his breakout meet, but just one year later they collapsed in the Olympic final, finishing fourth after entering as the heavy favorites. They finished off the podium again in Barcelona last summer, as Danila Izotov touched out James Roberts by 0.14 for the bronze.
Look for a showdown with the United States at the Pan Pacs later this summer, but in Glasgow, Australia will have no competition winning this race. Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy rank first and second in the world, respectively, with Tomasso D’Orsogna solidly within the top 20. Kenneth To provides a solid fourth leg that no other country in the Commonwealth can even match with their second swimmer. Thomas Fraser-Holmes could even swim on this relay.
In the distant battle for second and third, England brings the most individual firepower as they will have veteran Adam Brown on their squad. Canada lost their superstar when Olympic bronze medalist Brent Hayden retired after the Olympics, while South Africa’s team has fallen from their once-golden perch, though Roland Schoeman is looking to get back into the 100 freestyle. Multi-talented superstar Chad Le Clos is key to their medal hopes.
Men’s 400 free relay medal predictions
Bronze: South Africa
The Australian women, like their male counterparts, suffered a heartbreaking loss in this relay last summer but should have no problem winning this gold medal. The Americans won that race when Megan Romano chased down a fatigued Alicia Coutts, swimming in her third race of the evening and fifth of the day. Heading into Glasgow, the Aussies are absolutely stacked. Cate Campbell holds the top time in the world with her 52.68 from April, while sister Bronte (third), Emma McKeon (fifth), Melanie Schlanger (ninth), and Brittany Elmslie (12th) fill out the remainder of the world rankings. Coutts, a prolific 100 freestyler herself, could also be used here.
Similar to the men’s race, there will be a large gap between Australia and everyone else in this race. England should have the upper hand, with sprint star Fran Halsall a contender for gold in the individual races and Amy Smith available for depth, while Canada will have veteran Victoria Poon leading the way.
Women’s 400 free relay medal predictions
Check out our previous medal predictions by clicking the links below: