Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Thoughts from Commonwealth Games Swimming - Day Three

The home nations couldn't build upon yesterday's success as Australia dominated. Six Golds for the Aussies tonight, one for England, one for South Africa and one for Kenya. In short, the rest of the Commonwealth got pumped. On a day like today you need to tip your hat (preferably whilst listening to Men At Work). Results Here (Tip - To get the results in easy to read spreadsheet form, go to the Reports column on the right hand side and select Event Related -> Results).

. Both Aussie 4 x 200m relays dominated as expected. However, for all those who wondered what would have happened if Britain swam as a team... here's your answer:-


Kylie Palmer - 1:58.51
Blair Evans - 1:57.47
Bronte Barratt - 1:58.33
Meagen Nay - 1:59.40
Final time - 7:53.71

Britain's fastest 4
Jo Jackson - 1:59.06
Rebecca Adlington - 1:59.68
Jazmin Carlin - 1:59.39
Sasha Matthews - 1:59.08
Final time - 7:57.21

On paper, a British team would have just pipped New Zealand for silver, but would have still been a long back of Australia.


Thomas Fraser Holmes - 1:47.04 (Great swim. Would have won the individual 200m Free by an astonishing 0.84 seconds... also the fastest leg of the entire event despite going first)
Nick Ffrost - 1:48.68
Ryan Napoleon - 1:47.05
Kenrick Monk - 1:47.52
Total Time - 7:10.29

Andrew Hunter - 1:48.32
David Carry - 1:48.00
Robbie Renwick - 1:47.38
Robert Bale - 1:48.12 (led off the relay in 1:48.72, I've taken off 0.6 for the takeover)
Total Time - 7:11.82

This would have been a closer race with Bale's inclusion, but a second and a half is still a comfortable margin of victory. This is all virtual and doesn't take into account race conditions, but whichever way you look at it, the Aussies were dominant.

. Top swim from James Goddard tonight. 1:55.58 is a great time and puts Goddard ahead of Aaron Peirsol and Michael Phelps this year. However, it also puts Ryan Lochte's 1:54.12 into perspective. Delving back into the virtual world, Goddard would have been several metres behind Lochte had they been in the same race.

. Congratulations to Jason Dunford for winning Kenya's first ever swimming Gold medal. Yes he is a product of English and American training, but it a fantastic acheivement all the same. You hope its received well back in Kenya and inspires a generation of youngsters to have a go at swimming.

I'm pleased for Dunford but would have loved to see Geoff Huegill win gold to cap what is already an incredible comeback. I don't think the sport of swimming has ever seen a comeback like this one. The guy lost 45-50kg. Now that is a movie, waiting to be made...

. We've had three days of competition and I think its fair to say that the swimming has been slower than expected. This is the main meet of the year, but many swimmers are failing to beat their seasons bests from untapered meets. It will be very interesting to see what filters through once the meet is finished but at this point I'm putting it down to one, or a combination, of these factors:-

Delhi Belly - A lot of cases of stomach upsets emerging. At a major meet any type of sickness can be disastrous. The physical effects are clear enough, but mentally too it puts you 'off your game'. Such a shame to train all year for a competition, with funding levels riding on it in the case of the British swimmers, and not be able to perform at your best because of sickness.

4am wake ups and 40 minute bus rides to and from the pool - If there is ever a sub-species of human that are used to waking up early, it is Homo Aquaticus (swimmers), however, not when they are competing. Its a tough ask to wake up that early, swim heats and then get back up for finals.

Slow Pool - Whether you believe it or not, swimmers believe in slow and fast pools. Sometimes there is a science behind it (depth of water, deck level pools etc.), other times a pool just won't feel right. If any swimmers have it in their heads that the Delhi pool is slow, performance will drop.

. If the pool is slow... how can you explain Alicia Coutt's 2:09.70 200m IM and Goddards 1:55.58 200m Back?

. Final point. Aussie turns. Better than all other nations competing in Delhi.

Maybe I will start a new feature....

SpeedEndurance World Rankings for Starts & Turns

1. USA
2. Australia
3. Japan
4. France
5. Rest of the world


  1. Are we allowed to count Lizzie Simmonds as her own country in your turns list?

  2. I was tempted... Simmonds and Spofforth both have world class underwaters. Its an area British Swimming has improved in, but we've still got a way to go to catch up.

  3. I'd say Japan is superior to anyone else on starts, mainly because Japanese swimmers are among the smallest. I.e., Morita, Kitajima, etc.

    Pools really can be slow! Maybe it's just that I swim in the slowest of slow pools yet race in amazing pools. They say the Irvine pool from Pan Pacs is slow too. This meet is getting annoying because of the slow times too haha.