Men's 400m Freestyle
Between 1986 and 2002 Australia owned this event but the last three Games in 2006, 2010 and 2014 there has been a dry spell with Scotland and Canada sharing the honours. Maybe that is about to change with the three-pronged attack of Olympic champion Mack Horton, the improving Jack McLoughlin and the ever present David McKeon – the silver medallist in Glasgow four years ago. Horton was fourth in 2014 and has since stamped his authority on the event, taking the gold in Rio and following up with silver at last year’s World’s in Budapest. One to watch: James Guy (England) who won bronze in Glasgow and was sixth in Budapest. Did you know? Manly lifesaver Noel Ryan won the first two gold medals in 1930 in Hamilton and 1934 in London.
Men's S14 200m Freestyle
Australia will be front and centre in this - one of the premier events on the Para swimming program. It will be led by elder statesman, defending champion and London and Rio Paralympic silver and bronze medallist Daniel Fox who will be joined by younger team mates Liam Schluter and Mitchell Kilduff. Schluter led the Australian rankings in 2017 with his 1:57.12 which will put him in major medal contention. Kilduff’s 1:58.60 will see him right in the frame while Fox will rely on all his experience to ruffle the field. One to watch: Without doubt England’s Thomas Hamer who leads the rankings on 1.56.18 – he won silver behind Fox in Glasgow. Did you know? Daniel Fox set a new world record for this event in the heats in Glasgow four years ago and clocked a slower time 1:57.89 to win the final.
Women's 200m Freestyle
Defending champion Emma McKeon knows she will have her work cut out with rising star and Australian champion Ariarne Titmus throwing her hat in the ring with her 1:55.76 (PB) at Trials, but the girl who dead-heated for silver with the USA’s Katie Ledecky at last year’s World Championships (1:55.18) won’t be giving up her title easily. Rio Olympic relay bronze medallist Leah Neale completes the Australian entries and expect some stiff opposition from the Canadians with World Championship semi-finalists Katherine Savard and Mary-Sophie Harvey as well as Olympic 100m champion Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck from Canada. One to watch: Stand out Canuck Taylor Ruck – a nine-time World Junior Championship gold medallist who has posted a 1:56.85 and will be keen to upset the Australian girls. Did you know? The only swimmer to win back-to-back Commonwealth Games gold in this event is Susie O’Neill in 1994 and 1998.
Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay
Australia and Canada will go head to head for gold in the premier women’s relay on night one of the Games with Rio golden girls Cate and Bronte Campbell leading the Aussie quartet and Canadian Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak head-lining the emerging Maple-Leaf-foursome which is billed as a real heart-stopper. Australia is the defending champion and reigning Olympic champion, beaten by the USA at the World Championships last year without Cate while Canada were fourth in Budapest after taking bronze in Rio. One to watch: Canada very much on the march in this one and could well push the Aussies all the way. Did you know? The 4x100 relay has been swum 20 times and every Games since 1930 – with Australia winning 10 (the last five) Canada six, England three and South Africa one.