The opening session of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is set to get underway from the Gold Coast in Australia, with ten different events on the docket for prelims. The men will contest the 400 free, 50 fly, 100 back and 200 breast, along with a single heat of the S14 200 freestyle. The women will have the 400 IM, 200 free, 50 breast and 100 fly, along with one heat in the S7 50 fly.
The meet can be streamed on DAZN, though it may only be accessible to Canadian viewers.
Two-time defending champion Hannah Miley topped the 2nd preliminary heat in the women’s 400 IM in a time of 4:38.20, giving her the top seed for tonight’s (or tomorrow morning, depending where you are) final. She took over the lead on breast, passing Canada’s Sarah Darcel and England’s Aimee Willmott. Willmott took 2nd in the heat in 4:39.19, qualifying her 2nd overall, and Darcel’s 4:41.55 gives her the 5th seed.
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of Canada led the 1st heat for the majority of the race, but was run down at the end by Australians Meg Bailey and Blair Evans. Bailey (4:41.51) and Evans (4:41.54) qualify 3rd and 4th, with Seltenreich-Hodgson in 6th.
The big guns cruised their way through the prelim heats of the men’s 400 free, with 2016 Olympic champion Mack Horton of Australia taking the top seed in 3:47.93. Horton edged out Daniel Jervisof Wales and his countryman David McKeon in heat 2, as they advance through 2nd and 4th overall.
The third Aussie, Jack McLoughlin, won heat 1 to qualify 3rd in 3:48.31, with England’s James Guycruising to the 5th seed in 3:50.23.
Australians Ariarne Titmus and Emma McKeon took the top two seeds in the women’s 200 free, winning heats 2 and 3 respectively. Titmus was 1:57.02 for the top spot, while McKeon (1:57.40) edged out Canadian Taylor Ruck (1:57.44) in the last heat. Ruck advances 3rd, with her teammate Penny Oleksiak moving on in 6th in 1:58.21.
McKeon and Ruck had the best opening speed in the field, both out in 56s, but Titmus had the best back half by far closing sub-1:00.
Oleksiak touched 2nd to England’s Eleanor Faulkner (1:57.87) in heat 1. Holly Hibbott of England qualified 6th, Leah Neale of Australia gave the Aussies three representatives in the final in 7th, and Scotland’s Lucy Hope rounds out the field in 1:59.18.
The Australians qualified 1-2-3 in the men’s S14 200 free, led by Daniel Fox in 2:00.44. Thomas Hamer of England (2:01.08) was 4th, and appears the only one with a shot at breaking up the all-Aussie podium.
Defending champion Ben Proud of England blasted a 22.84 in the last heat of the men’s 50 fly, breaking his own Games record. However, he was disqualified shortly after, in what looks to be a false start. Read more about Proud’s DQ here.
Mitch Larkin, Luke Greenbank and Bradley Woodward went 1-2-3 in the last heat of the men’s 100 back, posting the top three times of the morning to lead the way into tonight’s semi-finals. Larkin’s 54.02 leads the field by six tenths.
Corey Main of New Zealand joined them under 55, winning heat 2 in 54.99, and England’s Elliot Clogg claimed heat 1 in 55.08 for the 5th seed.
Australia’s Madeline Groves edged out teammate Emma McKeon to win the third and final heat of the women’s 100 fly, as they qualify 1-2 in 57.77 and 58.04 respectively. Alys Thomas of Wales took 3rd in the heat and 3rd overall in 58.48.
Scotland’s Ross Murdoch, the 2014 champion, had a very impressive swim to lead the men’s 200 breast prelims in 2:08.77. Australia’s Matthew Wilson was the only other man to break 2:10, coming in at 2:09.74.
England’s James Wilby and Andrew Willis were both 2:10 for 3rd and 4th, and Calum Tait of Scotland was as well as he sits 5th. Eli Wall of Canada had an impressive swim to finish 2nd to Wilson in the first heat and qualify 6th in 2:11.47.