Monday, 4 October 2010

Thoughts from Commonwealth Games Swimming - Day One

The first day of Commonwealth Games is done. Great day if you're Australian. Good day if you're Canadian, South African or Welsh. Decent day if you're English or Scotltish. Here are the main talking points...

- Alicia Coutts, where did that come from?

The surprise doesn't just come from the fact that she took down the pre-race favourite Emily Seebohm, it was her manner of victory that was so shocking stunning.

2:09.70 is an incredible swim. It moves Coutts up to the 9th fastest swimmer of all-time and more importantly set a new textile best time. This textile best time is one of the more emotive as it betters Wanyan Yu's drug tainted 2:09.72 set in 1997.

Seebohm went out for the race, she was 0.3 seconds quicker in Delhi at the 100m turn than she was at Pan Pacs. Where she had problems was the breaststroke leg. Coutts had an incredible Breaststroke splitting 37.66 to Seebohm's 39.44 (compared to 38.52 at Pan Pacs).

Just incase you're counting, this is how the depth of women's IM swimming looks in Australia. Stephanie Rice - Olympic Champion - 2:10.0 this year, Emily Seebohm - Pan Pacs Champion - 2:09.9 this year, Alicia Coutts - Commonwealth Champion 2:09.7. Coutts, Seebohm and Rice also make up the top 3 in the world this year.

- If you get a chance, check out Leiston Pickett's technique. Does she take a breathe on the 50m Breast? Seriously, has she perfected the first ever non-breathing Breaststroke?

I've watched it over and over again. I can kind of figure out how she gets oxygen, but I haven't figured out how she doesn't take a shot of H2O at the same time.

Either way, she looks the one to beat in the 50m Breast final. Leisel Jones will have her work cut out.

- The Men's 4 x 100m Free relay threw up plenty of talking points.
- Which is the better swim heading into the individual 100m Free - Brent Hayden's lead off leg of 48.18 or Eamon Sullivan's 47.49 with a flying start? I'm going with Hayden.
- Who saw England taking down South Africa? Not me. Not a great sign for the South African relay team's hope of winning in 2012.
- What was the white stuff floating in the pool before the start of the race? Did they really need the extra long pole for it? Did they get it all? If they didn't, where is the rest of it? Did the English team have the right to pause the competition for so long or should golf rules have applied, 'play it as it lies' and all that.

- Is it the new fashion to wear your goggles round your neck? Chad LeClos rocked the goggles look immediately after his race and then even more dramatically, on the medal podium. Once can be put down as a mistake, twice is deliberate. All the kids in South Africa will be doing the same soon.

Goggles round the neck look a lot better when there is a gold medal alongside them


  1. Mark Foster said it was pigeon droppings, Liam Tancock said it was beetles, Aussie head coach said it was ceiling plaster. Take your pick!

  2. I dont think Australia did aswell as hoped today, Surely they expected to win 200FR,200IM and 200fly, and must have thought Hurley could get Cochrane?
    England did quite well, did not expect a gold today, Rebecca's swim bodes very well, 29.1 final split is ominous for the other girls, Also the mens 4x100, who saw Burnett leading off 48.8s??, 48.57 his textile best previously, Watch Fran tomorrow.

  3. Over on Swimnews, they're reporting that Liam Tannock notified the Aussies that some "enormous beetles" were in the Australian lane.

  4. Interesting point Anonymous

    I personally think Australia will be happy with their performances today. The relay wasn't a guarantee with a seemingly strong Saffa team. W200m Free was wide open, Palmer did well to win that one so convincingly.
    400m Free was always going to be tough against Cochrane. They also looked in top form in the semis.

    Only real negative was Nick D'Arcy missing the final in the 200m Fly who likely would have won gold in that event.

    TedBaker - I've never heard Eamon Sullivan and co referred to as 'enormous beetles' before.