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Adlington & Others Shrug Off Delhi Belly

Oct 6, 2010  - Craig Lord

Commonwealth Games, Delhi, day 3 heats:

After two days of some tight and thrilling finals action here at the Dr S P Mukherjee pool, swimmers are getting used to the dawn starts and the Delhi belly scares.  Today brings eight finals this evening and gets underway the 100m free challenge for men and 100m butterfly for women, heats this morning semis later in the day. England had no media officer in the building this morning after a night enduring Montezuma's revenge.

Most cases are not so severe but a reasonable poll of coaches and swimmers suggests that many athletes are suffering from mild stomach upsets and are having to take medication to contain the problem. Far from ideal at an event that will, in some cases, dictate what funding a swimmer gets on the way to the next cycle of world championships and Olympic Games. The mix of high-end performance sport - the investment in money, time, energy and expertise - and the amateur world of those who stick their hand in the air from time to time and vote to take some of the world's finest and therefore fragile athletes in the world into situations that are not conducive to excellence is a poor one.

Ticket sales in chaos, everything organised too late to make a big impact, there was evidence of a slight pick-up in crowds. This morning, one bank of about 250 seats is filled with red-capped school children, while 700 or so occupy the ticketed seats. So much more could have been done, the commercial imperative apparently non-existent.

Heats Summaries:

Women's 800m freestyle

With only 11 swimmers in heats and eight places in the final, the two heats of the 16-lapper were something of a formality for those gunning for medals.  In the first heat, Wendy Trott (RSA) set the pace on 8:34.34 ahead of Alexandra Komarnycky (CAN, on 8:36.71, and Katie Goldman (AUS), on 8:38.91.

In the second heat, double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, put in a smooth 8:35.82 ahead of Aussies Melissa Gorman and Blair Evans, on 8:38.16 and 8:39.49. Adlington twittered this morning "...now Delhi belly go away".

Post-race, Adlington said that  she felt "relatively easy: and was looking forward to the challenge from the Aussies in the final. She confirmed that she and several of her teammates have suffered "mild Delhi belly" but described it as "no issue". Her focus today is the 4x200m freestyle final. She was speaking to the BBC and other broadcasters, including non-rights holders, on the deck but had no time for the written press, not even 20 seconds. She did have time later to twitter, though, and here's what she warbled: "800 heat done! Have a little nap, lunch, then back down for the 4x200 tonight with Joanne Jackson. Excited for the relay! Come on Girlies!"

The 800m final, to be held tomorrow evening, is completed by Sasha Matthews (ENG), on 8:41.10, and Megan Gilchrist (SCO), on 8:46.85.

Men's 100m freestyle

All big names cruised through to the semis. At the helm, Gideon Louw (RSA) set the pace in the penultimate heat of 7, on a 49.24 ahead of Olympic silver medallist Eamon Sullivan (AUS), on 49.79, that time matched by 2007 world champion Brent Hayden (CAN). The rest of the qualifiers ran from Grant Turner (ENG), on 49.87, to David Lloyd (WAL), on 51.44. In the mix, on 49.97, was England's defending champion Simon Burnett.

Women's 100m butterfly

Jemma Lowe (WAL) set the lead pace in the first of the fast heats, on 58.91, and no-one went better in an event that required a bygone-era 1:05.00 to make the top 16 cut. Six women cracked the minute among those gunning for medals: Audrey Lacroix (CAN) challenged Lowe's lead time, on 58.96 as the only other sub-59er; Felicity Galvez (AUS), clocked 59.28; Katerine Savard (CAN), 59.41; Alicia Coutts (AUS), 59.49; Ellen Gandy (ENG), 59.63. The first two the other side of a minute were MacKenzie Downing (CAN), 1:00.14, and European silver medallist and 50m 'fly champion here last night, Francesca Halsall (ENG), who took the first 50m out hard before easing back to training pace on the way to comfortable qualification.

Men 200m backstroke

The 2002 champion, James Goddard (ENG) left nothing to chance with a 1:59.30 effort that booked lane 4 for the final later in the day. After cracking out a swift 56.48 on the way out, Goddard spent the rest of the race in easier mode making sure he got to the pad ahead of the rest. Charles Francis (CAN) took the second heat in 1:59.67, the first heat won by Adhley Delaney (AUS) in 2:00.44. The rest of the final includes: Tobias Oriwol (CAN); Marco Loughran (WAL); Ryan Bennett (ENG); Chris Walker-Hebborn (ENG) and Gareth Kean (NZL). No place for Aussie Hayden Stoeckel, on 2:01.76 in 10th.

Women's 200m breaststroke

World record holder Annamay Pierse (CAN) booked lane 4 for the final in 2:27.74, the cut-off a 2:32.04 from medley ace Hannah Miley (SCO). In between, Aussies Sarah Katsoulis and former world record holder Leisel Jones clocked 2:28.29 and 2:28.57 to place Pierse in a pincer for the showdown later in the day, the rest of the final including: Stacey Tadd (ENG), Martha McCabe (CAN), Tessa Wallace (AUS) and Kerry Buchan (SCO).

Men's 4x200m freestyle

Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore and India all raced so that Guernsey could be knocked out. The biggest news to report was that Chad Le Clos (RSA) split 2:05.09. But then he could have gone 2:10 and South Africa would still have made it through.

Women's 4x200m freestyle

A straight final will feature a battle between Australia, England and Canada, the Dolphins entering the fray with a very clear edge over the rest.