Commonwealth Games: Fran Halsall Sets Textile Best in 50 Free; Tops 50 Fly Semis

GLASGOW, Scotland, July 26. IT was an epic night of swimming for England’s Fran Halsall as she posted a textile best in her 50 free win and clocked a Commonwealth Games record in her 50 fly semis.



Men’s 200 fly
It wasn’t his fastest time of the year, but South Africa’s Chad le Clos put up an easy speed 1:55.07 to take the title this evening. That’s just off his 1:54.56 from the South African National Championships. That gave him a medal of each color so far this week. He won the 200 fly, took silver in the 400 free relay and claimed bronze in the 50 fly. That’s a Commonwealth victory on top of his Olympic and World championships in the past two years.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Grant Irvine snared silver in the finale with a time of 1:56.34. That’s just off his eighth-ranked season best of 1:56.23 from the Australian Nationals. South Africa’s Sebastien Rousseau ripped off a 1:56.43 for the bronze in the event. Scotland’s Cameron Brodie might have missed the podium, but he took down the Scottish record with a 1:56.59.

Australia’s Mitch Pratt (1:57.13), Australia’s Daniel Tranter (1:57.31), England’s Roberto Pavoni (1:58.03) and Singapore’s Joseph Schooling (1:59.09) also competed in the finale.

Women’s 50 free
England’s Fran Halsall clocked a British record and world textile best in the splash-and-dash with a scintillating time of 23.96. That swim not only beat her previous British record of 24.11 set at the 2009 World Championships, it moved ahead of Sarah Sjostrom’s 23.98 from earlier this year as the top time in textile ever in the event. Her next target is Britta Steffen’s world record of 23.73 from the 2009 World Championships during the techsuit era.

Australia’s Cate Campbell, the early favorite coming into the race, wound up taking second in 24.00 to move to third in the world rankings. Her sister, Bronte Campbell, finished third in 24.20 for fourth in the world as tonight’s heat rewrote the rankings.

Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace charged to fourth in 24.34 to take fifth in the world, while Australia’s Melanie Schlanger checked in with a fifth-place 24.39 for seventh in the world. Vanderpool-Wallace’s efforts today lowered her national record of 24.64 coming into today.

Canada’s Victoria Poon (25.29), Scotland’s Sian Harkin (25.31) and England’s Amy Smith (25.37) rounded out the championship heat.

Men’s 200 free S14
He wasn’t able to replicate his amazing Paralympic world record time of 1:57.16 from prelims, but Australia’s Daniel Fox still managed to take the gold medal in the finale with a time of 1:57.89. That’s his first international gold medal after taking silver in the 2012 Paralympics in London. England’s Thomas Hamer took second in the finale with a time of 2:00.27, while Wales’ Jack Thomas finished third in 2:01.27.

Australia’s Mitchell Kilduff (2:01.37), Scotland’s Craig Rodgie (2:03.20), Australia’s Josh Alford (2:03.43) and South Africa’s Craig Groenewald (2:07.91) also competed tonight.

Women’s 200 breast
The Aussies went 1-2 in the finale as Taylor McKeown and Sally Hunter put on a clinic in the finale. McKeown won the gold in 2:22.36 with Hunter racing into silver with a 2:23.33. McKeown has been a bit faster this year with a fourth-ranked time of 2:22.10 from the Australian Nationals, and that’s all she needed for the title tonight.

Hunter, meanwhile, vaulted to sixth in the world rankings up from 13th in the world with a previous season best of 2:24.91. England’s Molly Renshaw pushed her way onto the podium with a third-place time of 2:25.00.

Scotland’s Hannah Miley, the 400 IM gold medalist, demonstrated her breaststroke ability with a strong fourth-place swim in 2:25.40. She nearly made the podium for the second time this week. Canada’s Kierra Smith matched Miley’s time to stand fourth as well, with teammate Martha McCabe claiming sixth overall in 2:25.46.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson (2:25.48) and Australia’s Tessa Wallace (2:27.41) also put up swims in the championship finale.

Women’s 100 back
Australia’s Emily Seebohm, the favorite in the race, took care of business this evening with a meet-record performance of 59.37 for the win. That’s well off her world-leading time of 58.92 from the Australian National Championships, but was good enough to defend her 100 back title from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Two other swimmers also cleared 1:00 to make up the rest of the podium. Wales’ Georgia Davies raced her way to a 59.58 for silver, while Australia’s Belinda Hocking tracked down bronze in 59.93. Davies clipped her season best of 59.63 from earlier this week, leapfrogging Fu Yuanhui (59.59) for third in the world. Seebohm, and Mie Nielsen (59.36) are the only two swimmers faster this year . Hocking, missed out on her sixth-ranked 59.78 from earlier in the meet.

England’s Lauren Quigley (1:00.19), England’s Elizabeth Simmonds (1:00.26), Canada’s Sinead Russell (1:00.27), Australia’s Madi Wilson (1:00.45) and Canada’s Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:00.58) also put up times in the finale.

Men’s 100 breast
Even with world-record holder Cameron van der Burgh taking the swim out with a blazing 27.32, England’s Adam Peaty became the first Brit to beat 59 seconds in the event as he charged home for a British record time of 58.94.

That performance beat Peaty’s previous national mark of 59.16 from semis today. The swim moved Peaty that much closer to Christian Sprenger’s world-leading time of 58.87 from the Australian Nationals. Sprenger was unable to defend his position this week after suffering a shoulder injury and missing out on finals.

Van der Burgh, meanwhile, settled for second in 59.28. That’s his season best, clearing the 59.50 from the South African Nationals that ranks him third in the world. Scotland’s Ross Murdoch picked up bronze with a time of 59.47 as he continued to lower his Scottish record.

Scotland’s Craig Benson (1:00.44), New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders (1:00.64), Canada’s Richard Funk (1:00.75) and England’s James Wilby (1:01.07) finished fourth through seventh, while Wales’ Rob Holderness drew a disqualification.

Women’s 800 free relay
Although Canada made them work for it, Australia had too much talent to not finish out on top of the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay. Emma McKeon (1:56.01), Alicia Coutts (1:59.34), Brittany Elmslie (1:57.89) and Bronte Barratt (1:56.66) closed out the finale in a meet-record time of 7:49.90 for the win.

Canada’s Samantha Cheverton (1:57.99), Brittany MacLean (1:56.87), Alyson Ackman (1:58.43) and Emily Overholt (1:58.38) put up a silver-winning effort of 7:51.67, while England’s Siobhan O’Connor (1:57.19), Amelia Maughan (1:59.53), Ellie Faulkner (1:58.08) and Becki Turner (1:57.65) finished third in 7:52.45.

New Zealand (7:57.47), Scotland (7:59.06), South Africa (8:08.12) and Singapore (8:16.39) took fourth through seventh with Wales getting a disqualification.

Men’s 50 back
Australia’s Ben Treffers, the favorite coming into the meet with a third-ranked season best of 24.54 from the Australian Nationals, put up a 24.78 in the final semifinal to earn the top seed heading into the championship heat.

England’s Chris Walker-Hebborn, who topped prelims with a 25.12 in the morning, also cleared 25 seconds tonight with a 24.92. That moved him to 11th in the world rankings, beating his previous season best of 25.09 from British Nationals. Wales’ Marco Loughran won the first semifinal with a 25.12 to rank third.

Here are your finalists:
Australia ‘s Ben Treffers – 24.78
England’s Chris Walker-Hebborn – 24.92
Wales’ Marco Loughran – 25.12
England’s Liam Tancock – 25.21
Australia’s Mitch Larkin – 25.22
Canada’s Russell Wood – 25.29
Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell – 25.39

Women’s 50 fly
After lowering her British record in prelims with a 25.64, England’s Fran Halsall remained on fire with another faster time as she popped a meet-record mark of 25.36. That jumped her ahead of Inge Dekker (25.50) for third in the world behind only Sarah Sjostrom (24.43 WR) and Jeanette Ottesen (25.27) and is her third British record of the meet.

Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace demolished the Bahamian record today. Alana Dilette came into the day with a 27.07 from the 2009 World Championships with Vanderpool-Wallace progressing it from a 26.44 to a 25.90 for the second seed this evening. Australia’s Brittany Elmslie also cleared 26 seconds with a third-place time of 25.91.

Here are your finalists:
England’s Fran Halsall – 25.36
Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace – 25.90
Australia’s Brittany Elmslie – 25.91
Canada’s Katerine Savard – 26.31
Singapore’s Li Tao – 26.33
England’s Amy Smith – 26.43
Canada’s Sandrine Mainville – 26.48
Australia’s Alicia Coutts – 26.49

Men’s 100 free
The Aussies looked truly powerful in semis, claiming the top three spots into the championship heat. James Magnussen fired off a 48.21 for the top seed, and will be looking to replicate his world-leading 47.59 in the finale. Cameron McEvoy, already second in the world with a 47.65 from Aussie Nationals, chased down the second seed in 48.60. Their compatriot Tommaso D’Orsogna tracked down the third seed with a time of 49.05.

Here are your finalists:
Australia’s James Magnussen – 48.21
Australia’s Cameron McEvoy – 48.60
Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna – 49.05
South Africa’s Leith Shankland – 49.35
England’s Adam Brown – 49.47
Canada’s Yuri Kisil – 49.53
England’s James Disney-May – 50.01

When available, full results will be here: