Day 3 – Heats
Chad Le Clos cruised through to a final and a semi for his next shots at the podium in day 3 heats at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but the South African faces yet another butterfly final that will go without the English threat that might have been: James Guy is out – dehydration is cited and, if that is the case, questions will now roll, such as how could that possibly have happened to an experienced swimmer surrounded by a professional staff?
Le Clos, who claimed gold in the 50m butterfly after English favourite Ben Proud was DQ’s for moving on his blocks in heats on day 1, will defend the 200m butterfly crown for a second time this evening – and if he does so successfully he will become the first in Commonwealth Games history to claim the crown three times.
In Glasgow four years ago, Le Clos matched the two-titles tally of Kiwi Anthony Mosse (1986-1990). Le Clos’ challenge may be the 1:55.07 Games record he holds, Guy possible the only one on the final capable of getting close to the London 2012 Olympic champion and reigning World champion, at top speed over 200m, having beaten him for the world-titles 100m podium last year.
Guy, good mates with Le Clos, was last through to the final on 1:58 this morning but his place will now go to India’s Sajan Prakash, who clocked 1:58.87.
Mack Darragh, Canada, led the pace through to the final on 1:56.96, David Morgan, Australia, on 1:57.42, and Duncan Scott, Scotland, on 1:57.64. Then we get to the favourite: Chad Le Clos, South Africa, 1:57.89 at ease.
Grant Irvine, Australia, on 1:57.91, was followed into the final by Lewis Clareburt, New Zealand, 1:58.32. The final was to have been sandwiched between Englishmen, Jacob Peters on 1:58.42 – and the potential outside smoker, James Guy, on 1:58.43.
South Africa had an encouraging morning elsewhere, too.
Having downed Penny Heyns’ African 50m standard from 1999 for fourth place in the dash, Tatjana Schoenmaker, of South Africa, warmed up for her next shot at the medals in 2:23.57, a career high a slither shy of the national record. That has stood at 2:23.21 to Suzaan van Biljon since 2012, while Schoenmaker is now faster that the 2:23.64 in which Heyns held the world record back in 1999. Into lane 4, Schoenmaker’s best had been a 2:24.61, copal ned at the Universiade last year.
Taylor McKeown, Australia, cruised through on 2:25.04, Chloe Tutton, of Wales, taking the lane the other side of the African, on 2:25.08. Kierra Smith, Canada, on 2:25.33, and Molly Renshaw, England, on 2:25.55, followed, the last three through Tessa Wallace, Australia, on 2:26.86, Kaylene Corbett, South Africa, on 2:27.68, and …Hannah Miley, the Scottish medley ace making her career 16th Commonwealth final in 2:28.01.
The 2010 Game record of 24.62, held by England’s Liam Tancock stood the test of time in heats, Kyle Chalmers’ roomie Zac Incerti, of Australia, on 25.05 at the helm of pace, teammate Mitch Larkin on 25.32 and the hosts treated to a top three of qualifiers by Ben Treffers, on 25.52. The first foreigner through was Conor Ferguson, Northern Ireland, on 25.79.
The rest of the line-ups for this evening: Jian Han Tern, Malaysia, 25.83; Xavier Castelli, Wales, 25.91; Harry Shalamon, Jersey, 26.08; Craig McNally, Scotland, 26.11; Srihari Nataraj, India, 26.47; Tom Hollingsworth, Guernsey, 26.78; Akalanka Peiris, Sri Lanka, 26.83; Haseeb Tariq, Pakistan, 27.39; Erico Cuna, Mozambique, 28.03; Jordan Gonzalez, Gibraltar, 28.19; Alexandros Axiotis, Zambia, 28.77; Dillon Gooding, St Vincent, 29.96.
It will be hard to get to the 25.20 Games record set by England’s Fran Halsall at Glasgow 2014. Maddie Groves, fresh from silver in an Aussie seep of the 100m, was fastest among those about to try, with a 25.81 in heats, teammate Cate Campbell on 25.83 – and in the kind of form that could deliver gold and the Games standard come the showdown. Penny Oleksiak, of Canada, completed the top three through in 25.95.
The rest of the line-ups: Holly Barratt, Australia, 26.14; Rebecca Smith, Canada, 26.65; Alia Atkinson, Jamaica, 26.91; Alys Thomas, Wales, 26.95; Erin Gallagher, South Africa, 27.05; Harriet Jones, Wales, and Helena Gasson, New Zealand, both 27.10; Harriet West, Wales, 27.41; Ting Wen Quah, Singapore, 27.44; Emma Chelius, South Africa, 27.55; Charlotte Atkinson, Isle of Man, 27.72;Emily Siobhan Muteti, Kenya, 28.46; and Elodie Poo Cheong, Mauritius, 28.63.
Another Games mark that survived Glasgow 2014, the 47.98 of Brent Hayden, of Canada, from 2010, looks set to come under serious pressure.
The heats of the 100m free were a relatively calm affair, the depth of quality shallow enough for all big guns to be sure of comfortable passage. At the helm of pace was Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers, Australia, on 48.81, teammate Jack Cartwright next through on 48.85. Dylan Carter, Trinidad, on 48.96, and Scot Duncan Scott, on 48.99, completed the sub-49 club.
Also through: Yuri Kisil, Canada, 49.06; Matthew Abeysinghe, Sri Lanka, 49.11; Chad Le Clos, South Africa, 49.17; Cameron McEvoy, Australia, 49.20; Markus Thormeyer, Canada, 49.41; Calum Jarvis, Wales, and Daniel Hunter, New Zealand, both on 49.65; Jordan Sloan, Northern Ireland, 49.72; David Cumberlidge, England, 49.77; Matthew Stanley, New Zealand, 49.79; Jack Thorpe, Scotland, 49.82; and Sam Perry, New Zealand, 49.90.