Men's 200m Backstroke
Apart from 2015 FINA World and defending Commonwealth Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Mitch Larkin from Australia, this looks like a pretty open field with silver and bronze medals up for grabs. A rejuvenated Larkin has had a great return to form under coach Dean Boxall and looks fitter and more determined than ever with the glitter of ’15 very much back in his eyes. Larkin won the Australian Trials from a fast finishing new-comer in NSW Central Coast lifesaver Bradley Woodward and 2014 silver medallist Josh Beaver. Throw in Budapest semi-finalists England’s Luke Greenback and New Zealander Corey Main as well as Canadian pair Josiah Binnema and Markus Thormeyer and the race for the podium is well and truly on. One to watch: Feast your eyes on lane four for Mitch Larkin who will be as determined as ever to defend his crown and re-establish himself as the world class swimmer he is. Did you know: That the previous Australian to win the 200m backstroke before Larkin four years ago in Glasgow was Wollongong surf lifesaver Brad Cooper in Christchurch in 1974 – two years after he was presented with the Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle in Munich.
Men's S7 50m Freestyle
Four-time Paralympian and seven-time medallist Matt Levy from North Sydney will be determined to turn his freestyle silver and bronze medals into gold when the 31-year-old veteran joins youngsters Rohan Bright and Matthew Haanappel in the S7 50m freestyle. Levy has won three 100m freestyle silvers and a bronze at previous major internationals. But he knows he will face some stiff opposition from England’s Jonathan Fox – a London gold medallist in the 100m backstroke. One to watch: Sydney teen Rohan Bright who clocked a PB of 31.40 at the Australian Trials. Did you know: Matt Levy is coached at North Sydney Olympic Pool by Stephen Badger – who won two gold and two bronze for Australia at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and went on to swim for Canada at the 1976 Olympics.
Women's 100m Freestyle
The big question here is: Can Cate Campbell successfully defend her 2014 crown in the blue ribband 100m freestyle? And everything she has done since returning from her time away from major competition in 2017 suggests the answer is…Yes! Cate can. Campbell won the gold from sister Bronte and Emma McKeon in Glasgow after winning 2013 World Championship gold in Barcelona and setting a new world record in Brisbane en-route to Rio in 2016. She will again face sister Bronte, the 2015 world champion as well as Canadian pair, Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak and rising teen Taylor Ruck, who climbed up the rankings with her performance at the US Pro Series in Atlanta. One to watch: Keep one eye on Cate Campbell, who will have her sights on Games gold and the other on the red line or the scoreboard to see if C1 can swim under Sarah Sjostrom’s amazing world record of 51.71 (24.83; 26.88) set when she led off the 4x100m freestyle relay in Budapest. Did you know: Australia has won the trifecta in this event on three occasions in 2014, 2006 and 1958 (110 yards freestyle). enry and Alice Mills) and 1958 in Cardiff (Dawn Fraser, Lorraine Crapp and Alva Colquhoun).
Women's 800m Freestyle
What a showdown this one’s going to be! Lining up at her fourth Games is defending champion and Games record holder Jazz Carlin - who won Wales’ first gold in the pool in 40 years in the 800 free in Glasgow 2014, before winning silver behind Kate Ledecky in the 400 and 800m in Rio (PB 8:18.11 Games record). While Australia’s Ariarne Titmus – a rising star on the team making her Commonwealth Games debut – will no doubt throw down the challenge to Carlin, as the current Australian champion and Australian record holder (PB 8:20.08) at just 17-years-of-age. This promises to be one of the great races of the Games. You’ll have to be in the 8:20 range to be in this race. Others to keep an eye on will be Australia’s dual Olympian Jess Ashwood and the improving Kiah Melverton as well as England’s Holly Hibbott. One to Watch: Former Tasmanian schoolgirl Ariarne “The Terminator” Titmus, who was the smash hit at the Queensland Schools Carnival three days after making the Games team. Did you know: The women’s 800m freestyle was first swum at the 1970 Games in Edinburgh and won by Sydney’s Karen Moras in an all Australian podium from Helen Gray and Robyn Risson in a new world record time of 9:02.45.