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Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 15:27 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Form guide - swimming

Fran Halsall
Fran Halsall won five medals at the European Championships

Swimming looks set to be the main focus in Delhi as it is currently one of the few sports that has not suffered from the withdrawal of a mass of star names.

The standard should be high, with six world champions and five current world number ones scheduled to compete.

England's Fran Halsall, winner of five medals at the European Championships, will be looking to match the six-medal haul of Melanie Marshall four years ago, which equalled the record by an English athlete at a single Games.

Swimmer Brian Brinkley, in 1974, and shooter Malcolm Cooper, in 1982, also achieved that feat.

50M, 100M, 200M, 400M FREESTYLE

Defending champion Roland Schoeman of South Africa is going for a third successive gold medal but faces stiff competition from Canada's Brent Hayden, the silver medallist four years ago.

Australians Eamon Sullivan, a former world record holder, and Ashley Callus, the Commonwealth record holder, are also in contention, along with Trinidad's George Bovell, the only Commonwealth finalist in this event at the World Championships last year, while Simon Burnett swims for England.

All the above will also be in contention for the 100m title, where Burnett is the defending champion.

Rebecca Adlington
Adlington is competing in three freestyle events

Canada's Ryan Cochrane is the hot favourite to win the 200m while Australian number one is Robert Hurley is likely to be Cochrane's main challenge for gold.

Scottish duo Robbie Renwick and defending champion Dave Carry could find themselves battling along with Australia's Ryan Napolean for a podium place.

Fresh from her bronze medal at the European Championships in Budapest back in August, Fran Halsall is favourite for the women's 50m sprint.

She faces competition from Canadian Victoria Poon and 15-year-old Australian Yolane Kukla.

European champion and world silver medallist Halsall is the stand-out favourite in the 100m, while Australian trio Kukla, Alicia Coutts and backstroke specialist Emily Seebohm have eyes for the podium.

Australian trio Blair Evans, Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer lead the Australian charge against a number of strong British swimmers.

Jazmin Carlin will be in the Welsh corner, defending champion Caitlin McClatchey represents Scotland, along with European 400m IM champion Hannah Miley, while England call upon double Olympic champion Becky Adlington, who competes in her first 200m at international level and Jo Jackson, the Commonwealth record holder.

As with the 200m free, the women's 400m will be a straight battle between Australia v Great Britain, with newly crowned European champion Adlington favourite for gold.

Bronte Barratt, Katie Goldman and world short course champion Kylie Palmer are in contention for Australia, while England's defending champion Jo Jackson and Wales's Jazz Carlin will be fighting for podium finishes.


Ryan Cochrane is once again favourite to win gold in a distance dominated over the years by Australia.

Leading the charge for the minor medals are Australia's Robert Hurley and South African duo Mark Randall and Heerden Herman, while British chances of a medal look slim, with Wales's David Davies struggling for form and Daniel Fogg 10 seconds behind a medal spot on the current rankings.

Olympic championAdlington is once again favourite, but she faces competition from new Australian sensation Katie Goldman, who won the national title in March.

The bronze medal could be a battle between South Africa's Wendy Trott and Australian Blair Evans.


South Africa ended Australia's run of six straight titles in the men's event in Melbourne, although the green and gold are expected to win the title back with Eamon Sullivan and Kyle Richardson leading the charge.

England's chances are likely to rest with backstroke specialist Liam Tancock, who is the fastest Brit over 100m freestyle this year.

Australia look head and shoulders ahead in the 200m on paper, although they were big favourites in Melbourne when they were beaten by England and Scotland.

Scotland retain three of the four members of the silver medal-winning team from 2006, including British record holder Robbie Renwick, while Loughborough-based duo Ross Davenport and Robert Bale lead the charge for England.

Australia are led by Emily Seebohm and Yolane Kukla in the women's 4x100m event, but Canada are also very strong in the event.

England won silver at the European Championships with Amy Smith, Fran Halsall, Jess Sylvester and Jo Jackson.

Australia's depth in the women's events should mean another gold in the 4x200m, so England need Adlington and Jackson in top form if they are to mount any challenge for the title.

MEN'S 50M, 100M and 200M BACKSTROKE

World 50m champion and world record holder Liam Tancock will be expected to turn the silver from Melbourne four years ago into gold.

Liam Tancock
Tancock won European silver in August

He faces competition from Australian trio Daniel Arnamnart, Hayden Stoeckel, and Ashley Delaney while US-based Welshman Marco Loughran could make the final.

Defending 100m champion Tancock is once again the man to beat but Australian duo Delaney and Stoeckel both finished ahead of the Devonshire athlete in the Olympic final in Beijing with Stoeckel winning bronze and Delaney fifth.

Unlikely anyone else will feature in the medal hunt although we could see England's Chris Walker-Hebborn reach the final.

Walker-Hebborn has a much better chance of a medal in the 200m - he is junior champion over the distance - but he faces stiff competition from compatriot James Goddard, the 2002 champion.

Stoeckel is Australian champion over the distance and he and Delaney will be looking to become the first Aussies to win the title since 1974.

The women's 50m event should go to an Australian swimmer with Sophie Edington and Emily Seebohm favourites. However, the timetable of finals means both the women's 50m back and 200m back finals will be in the same session.

So we could see some swimmers focus on one or the other, rather than both. If they compete, England pair Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth are both serious medal threats.

Spofforth added the European 100m title to her world crown in August but is third in the Commonwealth rankings behind compatriot Simmonds while Aussie Seebohm is top.

Expect the gold medallist to be one of the three above.

The 200m event features five of the top-10 swimmers in the world and European champion Simmonds will start as favourite, but Australia's Belinda Hocking, Meagen Nay and Seebohm provide a formidable trio.

Spofforth and Steph Proud, the world university games champion complete a strong English trio.


Australia's Brenton Rickard is the man to beat over 50m and he starts as favourite ahead of Canada's Scott Dickens, but Cameron van der Burgh is world champion, although the South African is having a quiet year so far.

Dan Sliwinski competes for England and he is the current world junior champion.

The 100m event looks like a straight shoot-out between current world record holder Rickard and Australian compatriot Christian Sprenger.

Liesel Jones
Jones is almost unbeatable in the women's breaststroke

British record holder and Dan Sliwinski, along with Scotland's Kris Gilchrist and Michael Jamieson, along with Robert Holderness of Wales represent Britain's best chances.

World 200m record holder Christian Sprenger has not been in great form this year, so Rickard, silver medallist in Melbourne and the Beijing Olympics, will be favourite.

Jamieson took the British title earlier in the year and, along with world short course champion and British record holder Gilchrist, will be looking to become the first Scot to be on the podium in this event since David Wilkie won gold back in 1974.

Australia'sLeisel Jones will be looking for her second breaststroke treble, starting with the 50m, but team-mate and rising star Leiston Pickett will provide stiff resistance.

English duo Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, who switched nationalities from Kenya recently, and Kate Haywood are likely to be in the hunt for a medal while Wales'sLowri Tynan should also make the final.

Double world and Commonwealth champion Jones is overwhelming favourite in the 100m race, while team-mates Sarah Katsoulis and Samantha Marshall could make it an Australia 1-2-3.

Canada's Annamay Pierse and British duo Haywood and Ajulu-Bushell also compete.

Pierse will be a bigger threat in the 200m event, where she holds the world record and looks the only person likely to prevent a clean sweep of breaststroke golds for Jones.

Katsoulis and Canadian Martha McCabe will be in the hunt for the final podium finish while England's Stacey Tadd should feature in the final in Delhi.

Men's 50M, 100M AND 200M BUTTERFLY

The main two contenders for the 50m race are Australia's Geoff Huegill and South Africa's Roland Schoeman, the defending champion over the distance.

Other contenders include Kenyan Jason Dunford, who finished sixth at the World Championships last year in both the 50m and 100m fly, and Andrew Lauterstein of Australia.

Michael Rock
Michael Rock is a medal prospect for Britain

Olympic 100m bronze medallist Lauterstein starts as one of the favourites, along with compatriot Huegill and Dunford but defending champion Ryan Pini has struggled to find form this year.

British record holder Michael Rock has an opportunity for a medal and is currently ranked fourth in the Commonwealth this year.

Australian champion Nick D'Arcy is the overwhelming favourite for the 200m, pushing Michael Phelps close and winning the silver medal at the Pan Pacific Champs in August.

Defending champion Moss Burmester has dropped in form so Australia's Chris Wright, South African Chad le Clos and England's Rock are all podium prospects.

Australia boast current women's world 50m champion Marieke Guehrer, Australian champion Kukla and backstroke ace Seebohm, who could make it another green and gold clean sweep.

England's Halsall is the likeliest threat to break up the Aussie trio.

Loughborough-based Halsall won the silver medal at the recent European Championships in the 100m and is the form swimmer in the event.

Australia are without world number one Stephanie Rice because of injury, so Alicia Coutts will lead their challenge along with world short course champion Felicity Galvez and Kukla.

Melbourne-based English swimmer Ellen Gandy and Olympic finalist Jemma Lowe of Wales will also have eyes on the podium in a competitive field.

All eyes will be on double world champion and defending champion Jessicah Schipper of Australia in the 200m.

Gandy will be looking to add to the bronze medal she picked up in August at the European Championships, while Lowe has a good chance of a podium finish for Wales.


James Goddard could become the first Englishman to win the 200m IM but faces competition from European bronze medallist Joe Roebuck.

Chasing the English duo will be Leith Brodie, who set the Commonwealth record when fifth in the World Championships last year.

England's Roberto Pavoni is a double European junior champion in the 400m IM as well as British champion and is the fastest swimmer in the field.

Ellen Gandy
Hannah Miley was in awesome at the European Championships

Thomas Haffield is arguably Wales's best candidate for gold in the pool in Delhi while 2002 silver medallist Brian Johns of Canada will also feature, as will current Commonwealth record holder short course Roebuck and South African Riaan Schoeman.

Australian Seebohm is a second faster than Scotland's Hannah Miley, who won bronze at the European Championships, so the two should battle it out for bronze in the women's 200m IM.

English duo Anne Bochmann and Aimee Willmott will be looking to reach their first senior international finals in Delhi.

European champion Miley starts as the huge favourite in the 400m IM in the absence of Olympic champion Rice and is over 4.5 seconds faster than anyone else in the field in 2010.

Australia's Samantha Hamill will lead the challengers, while Keri-Anne Payne and Willmott compete for England.


Australia boast the world record holder on the breaststroke leg (Brendon Rickard) and Olympic bronze medallist in the fly (Andrew Lauterstein) with Commonwealth record holder in the freestyle (Eamon Sullivan), so it looks like the rest are fighting for silver.

That should be between England and Canada. England will be relying on Liam Tancock on the backstroke leg to build up a lead, knowing Canada have former world champion freestyler Brent Hayden to bring them home.

Australia look set to make it six titles in a row in the women's race, while England, led by Spofforth or Simmonds, will be favourites for the silver medal, with Canada pushing them all the way.

Wales have solid backstroke and butterfly swimmers but will struggle on the freestyle leg and are unlikely to win a medal.

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