Commonwealth Games: Australia Dominates Night Four in Glasgow

GLASGOW, Scotland, July 27. TEAM Australia dominated the fourth night of action at the Commonwealth Games with medal after medal going into the nation’s medal tally. Meanwhile, England’s Fran Halsall collected her second sprint title of the meet, and South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh put up a sizzling 50 breast.



Women’s 200 back
She was the favorite coming into tonight with the top time in the world, and Australia’s Belinda Hocking came through when it counted to win with a meet-record time of 2:07.24. It wasn’t the same speed as her 2:06.40 from the NSW State Championships, but that’s not what she needed. Hocking is the only swimmer to break 2:08 this year, and her swim tonight was pretty consistent.

Teammate Emily Seebohm raced to silver in 2:08.51, off her fourth-ranked 2:08.28 from Australian Nationals, while Canada’s Hilary Caldwell rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 2:08.55. That moved Caldwell up to fifth in the world with her swim.

England’s Ellie Simmonds (2:09.29), England’s Lauren Quigley (2:09.51), Australia’s Madi Wilson (2:10.35), Canada’s Genevieve Cantin (2:10.91) and Canada’s Sinead Russell (2:12.61) also battled in the finale.

Men’s 100 free
The Australians dominated the men’s 100-meter freestyle finale with a podium sweep. James Magnussen, the fastest man on the planet this year with a 47.59 from the Australian Aquatic Super Series, checked in with a 48.11 for the win. Teammate Cameron McEvoy, who stands second in the world with a 47.65 from Aussie Nationals, picked up second-place honors with a time of 48.34.

Tomasso D’Orsogna completed the clean sweep for the Aussies with a 49.04 for bronze. He’s been a bit faster this year with a 17th-ranked season best of 48.72 from the Australian Nationals, but he didn’t need that level of speed tonight to catch bronze.

Canada’s Yuri Kisil (49.27), Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter (49.56), England’s Adam Brown (49.63), South Africa’s Leith Shankland (49.81) and England’s James Disney-May (49.96) all broke 50 seconds in the championship heat.

Women’s 100 breast SB9
New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe won the Paralympic swim for the night with a 1:19.36 in the SB9 event. She won by more than two seconds as Australia’s Madi Scott held off 13-year-old Scottish Paralympic star Erraid Davies, 1:21.38 to 1:21.68, for the silver. Davies is now the youngest Scottish swimmer to win a Commonwealth Games medal.

Canada’s Aurelie Rivard (1:22.03), Canada’s Katarina Roxon (1:23.95), Australia’s Katherine Downie (1:24.04) and New Zealand’s Nikita Howarth (1:33.21) also competed in the finale.

Women’s 200 IM
It took a British and Games record, but England’s Siobhan O’Connor finally broke through with a gold medal in the 200-meter IM. O’Connor blazed her way to a 2:08.21, smashing Hannah Miley’s British mark of 2:09.46 from the 2009 World Championships.

The swim also vaulted the English star to the top of the world in the event, as she leapt over Alicia Coutts’ 2:08.89 from the Australian Nationals. That is O’Connor’s fifth medal of the meet. She already took silver in the 200 free, 100 fly and 400 free relay, and claimed a bronze in the 800 free relay. That’s a massively strong swim this evening.

Coutts, who had been struggling throughout the meet so far, managed to take silver in 2:10.30 as she held off Miley in the process. Miley took third in 2:10.74, adding the bronze to her 400 IM gold medal.

England’s Aimee Willmott (2:11.25), Canada’s Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (2:11.76), England’s Sophie Allen (2:12.01), Australia’s Emily Seebohm (2:14.37) and Canada’s Sydney Pickrem (2:14.91) also participated in the historic finale.

Men’s 50 back
It’s definitely been a big night for Team Australia. The Aussies went 1-2 in the sprint backstroke finale to add to their already impressive medal haul tonight. Treffers won in 24.67, off his third-ranked time of 24.54 from the Australian Nationals. Mitch Larkin put up a silver-winning time of 24.80 for Australia as well. That jumped him up to a seventh-ranked tie with Jeremy Stravius in the world rankings.

England’s Liam Tancock, one of the veterans of the meet, took bronze with a time of 24.98, while teammate Chris Walker-Hebborn missed the podium with a fourth-place 25.14.

Australia’s Josh Beaver (25.19), Wales’ Marco Loughran (25.36), Canada’s Russell Wood (25.55) and Singapore’s Zheng Wen Quah (26.26) also competed in the championship heat.

Women’s 50 fly
England’s Fran Halsall collected her second gold medal of the meet as she completed the 50 free/50 fly sweep here in Glasgow. Halsall blasted her way to a 25.20 for the win, leapfrogging Jeanette Ottesen (25.27) into second in the world. That’s a British and Commonwealth Games record. Only Sarah Sjostrom’s jaw-dropping world record of 24.43 stands ahead of her.

Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace raced her way to silver in 25.53, smashing her national record of 25.90 from earlier this week. She’s still fifth in the world in the event, but is much closer to Inge Dekker’s fourth-ranked 25.50 from the Sette Colli Trophy meet. Australia’s Brittany Elmslie also cleared 26 seconds with a 25.91 to earn bronze in the sprint fly event.

England’s Amy Smith (26.24), Singapore’s Li Tao (26.26), Canada’s Katerine Savard (26.27), Australia’s Alicia Coutts (26.52) and Canada’s Sandrine Mainville (26.64) picked up the rest of the finishes in the championship finale.

Men’s 800 free relay
Heading into the finale, Australia looked like it would be untouched en route to victory in the men’s 800-meter free relay. Scotland and South Africa, however, had some other plans as it took a remarkable anchor leg from Thomas Fraser-Holmes to salt away the victory for the Australians with a Games record 7:07.38. Scotland (7:09.18) and South Africa (7:10.36) closed out the podium with strong swims of their own.

Top three comparative splits
Australia: 7:07.38
Cameron McEvoy: 1:48.10
David McKeon: 1:45.82
Nick McKendry: 1:48.28
Thomas Fraser-Holmes: 1:45.18

Scotland: 7:09.18
Dan Wallace: 1:47.37
Stephen Milne: 1:47.17
Duncan Scott: 1:47.18
Robbie Renwick: 1:47.46

South Africa: 7:10.36
Devon Brown: 1:47.49
Chad le Clos: 1:47.13
Sebastien Rousseau: 1:47.03
Dylan Bosch: 1:48.71

England (7:12.66), New Zealand (7:14.63), Wales (7:15.96), Malaysia (7:26.74) and Singapore (7:28.01) also put up times in the finale.

Women’s 100 free
Unless England’s Fran Halsall can have a dream swim like her 50 free triumph, the Australians could claim a second 100-meter free team podium sweep in the finale. Cate Campbell led the way in semis with a time of 53.19, off her world-leading 52.68 from the Australian Nationals.

Her sister Bronte Campbell picked up second in 53.67, but she’s been faster with a third-ranked 53.02 also from Aussie Nats. Emma McKeon, the fifth-ranked swimmer in the world with a 53.43 from Australian Nationals, grabbed the third seed in 53.92. With that type of top-end speed, there’s a legitimate chance that the Aussies will sweep the medals tomorrow.

Here are your finalists:
Australia’s Cate Campbell – 53.19
Australia’s Bronte Campbell – 53.67
Australia’s Emma McKeon – 53.92
Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace – 54.41
England’s Fran Halsall – 54.88
Canada’s Sandrine Mainville – 55.09
Canada’s Victoria Poon – 55.19
Canada’s Alyson Ackman – 55.71

Men’s 50 breast
World-record holder Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa demolished the meet record with a sterling time of 26.80 in semifinal one this evening. That swim just missed Christian Sprenger’s textile best of 26.74 from earlier this year that is the world leader, and is a bit back of van der Burgh’s world record of 26.67. But, he’s definitely in the realm to put up a special swim in the finale as he became just the second swimmer this year to clear 27 seconds.

England’s Adam Peaty clipped his British record of 27.00 from prelims with a 26.99 to become the third swimmer to beat 27 seconds this evening. Meanwhile, Sprenger qualified third in 27.11 while he continues to battle a shoulder injury that has hurt him throughout the meet. Scotland’s Mark Tully posted a Scottish record with a 27.37 for fourth overall.

Here are your finalists:
South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh – 26.80
England’s Adam Peaty – 26.99
Australia’s Christian Sprenger – 27.11
Scotland’s Mark Tully – 27.37
Scotland’s Ross Murdoch – 27.41
New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders – 27.43
Scotland’s Joe Welstead – 27.73
Canada’s Richard Funk – 27.93

Men’s 100 fly
Although England’s Adam Barrett was the top qualifier with a 52.00 to move to ninth in the world rankings, the big story is South Africa’s Chad le Clos. Le Clos has reached Aaron Peirsol level in the butterfly events, as he just cruises through the qualifying heats. Looking around throughout the second semifinal, le Clos claimed the second seed in 52.12. Singapore’s Joseph Schooling cracked his Singapore record with a 52.22. That swim lowered his 52.33 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix last year.

Here are your finalists:
England’s Adam Barrett – 52.00
South Africa’s Chad le Clos – 52.12
Singapore’s Joseph Schooling – 52.22
Australia’s Christopher Wright – 52.58
Australia’s Tomasso D’Orsogna – 52.74
England’s James Guy – 52.78
Kenya’s Jason Dunford – 52.94
Australia’s Jayden Hadler – 53.12

Women’s 100 breast
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson nearly beat her Jamaican record with a sterling time of 1:06.87 during semis of the 100 breast. That swim just missed her 1:06.79 from the 2012 London Olympics, a time she has flirted with throughout the past two years. She just missed her sixth-ranked season best of 1:06.86 from the Orlando Sectionals this summer.

England’s Sophie Taylor took second in 1:07.20, just off her eighth-ranked 1:07.08 from British Nationals as the top duo could put up special times in the finale. Australia’s Lorna Tonks (1:07.65) and Sally Hunter (1:07.97) also cleared 1:08 in the semifinals.

Here are your finalists:
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson – 1:06.87
England’s Sophie Taylor – 1:07.20
Australia’s Lorna Tonks – 1:07.65
Australia’s Sally Hunter – 1:07.97
Canada’s Tera van Beilen – 1:08.11
Canada’s Kierra Smith – 1:08.49
Scotland’s Katie Armitage – 1:08.69
Australia’s Leiston Pickett – 1:08.83

When available, full results will be here: