GOLD COAST, Australia, April 2 (Reuters) - Swimming at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:
Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
Originally opened as the Southport Pool in 1965, the facility is owned and operated by the local council. The venue has undergone two significant upgrades since then with A$3.6 million ($2.76 million) spent installing three new pools ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It underwent a A$42 million redevelopment in 2013 after Gold Coast was awarded the 2018 Games. Work on adding a 10-lane competition pool and other training facilities was brought forward so it could host the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, with American swimmer Katie Ledecky breaking two world records. The Southport Swimming Club, which has produced several Olympic champions is based at the pool.
Medal events (all times GMT):
April 5 - Women’s 400m individual medley (0937)
Men’s 400m freestyle (0946)
Women’s 200m freestyle (1004)
Men’s 200m breaststroke (1144)
Women’s 4x100m freestyle (1150)
April 6 - Men’s 50m butterfly (0937)
Women’s 50m breaststroke (0941)
Men’s 200m freestyle (0956)
Men’s 400m individual medley (1117)
Men’s 100m backstroke (1136)
Women’s 100m butterfly (1151)
Men’s 4x100m freestyle (1207)
April 7 - Men’s 200m butterfly (0937)
Women’s 50m freestyle (0943)
Men’s 100m breaststroke (0948)
Women’s 100m backstroke (1003)
Women’s 200m breaststroke (1109)
Women’s 4x200m freestyle relay (1150)
April 8 - Women’s 200m backstroke (0937)
Men’s 100m freestyle (0943)
Women’s 200m individual medley (1124)
Men’s 50m backstroke (1131)
Women’s 50m butterfly (1136)
Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay (1201)
April 9 - Men’s 200m backstroke (0937)
Women’s 800m freestyle (0943)
Men’s 50m breaststroke (1107)
Women’s 100m breaststroke (1112)
Women’s 200m butterfly (1128)
Women’s 100m freestyle (1144)
Men’s 100m butterfly (1159)
April 10 - Women’s 400m freestyle (0937)
Men’s 50m freestyle (0945)
Women’s 50m backstroke (0950)
Men’s 200m individual medley (1015)
Men’s 1500m freestyle (1103)
Women’s 4x100m medley relay (1143)
Men’s 4x100m medley relay (1152)
Returning Australian freestylers
A trio of Australian world and Olympic champions in Cate Campbell, James Magnussen and Kyle Chalmers return to the pool after missing the world championships last year.
Olympic 100m freestyle champion Chalmers missed last year’s championships to fix a heart condition, while Campbell took the year off after leaving the Rio Olympics disappointed she had not won the 100m freestyle title, calling it ‘the biggest choke in Olympic history’.
Magnussen, the two-times 100m freestyle world champion, had a shoulder reconstruction and only qualified for the 4x100m relay team and the 50m sprint.
Ariarne Titmus (Australia)
The 17-year-old Titmus became the first Australian women in 14 years — and just the sixth overall — to win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle titles at the recent Australian championships. The teenager has said she’s aiming to get faster on the Gold Coast and she looms as the favourite for the 400m freestyle with 2014 champion Lauren Boyle from New Zealand now retired.
Adam Peaty (England)
The 23-year-old has dominated the sprint breaststroke events since he won the 100m at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and enters each meeting trying to beat his own world records as part of his “Project 56” goal to become the first swimmer to break the 57-second mark in the 100m. Peaty has targeted the Commonwealth Games as one of his two major events this year with his mind already looking at the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
Chad Le Clos (South Africa)
The 25-year-old was crushed after the 2016 Rio Games when he failed to defend his signature 200m butterfly title, finishing fourth as Michael Phelps regained the gold the South African had won in an upset at London four years earlier. Le Clos has 12 Commonwealth medals across the butterfly, individual medley and relays and is entered in eight events on the Gold Coast, with his goal to become the most successful athlete in Games history.
Penny Oleksiak (Canada)
The freestyle sprinter became Canada’s youngest Olympic champion at Rio when aged 16 she was a surprise winner of the 100m freestyle in a dead heat with Simone Manuel of the United States. Still only 17, Oleksiak has added the 200m freestyle to her programme this year, but her battle with Cate Campbell in the 100 is likely to be one of the highlights of the meeting.
$1 = 1.3028 Australian dollars Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty