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Big names sink in high-class swimming fields

Last updated on: October 4, 2010 14:21 IST

Nick D'Arcy fails to impress

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The strength of the swimming competition at the Commonwealth Games was evident on the first morning of action with defending champions and expected finalists exiting early in the opening heats.

Australia's Nick D'Arcy, who was favoured to win gold in the 200 metres butterfly after returning to the team following suspension, fell just 0.06 seconds short of making the final after finishing fourth in his heat.

New Zealand's defending champion Moss Burmester also fell in the heats for the 200m butterfly title as did Scotland's 200m freestyle holder Caitlin McClatchey, who could only finish 17th overall.

"I'm really disappointed," said the 24-year-old Scot, who won gold in Melbourne four years ago.

"I've had a very inconsistent training programme (leading up to the Games). Fitness has been a bit of a problem because I've had a bit of a chest infection."


Image: Nick D'Arcy

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Seebohm cruises through

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There were no such worries for Australia's big hope in the pool, Emily Seebohm.

The 18-year-old began her bold bid for eight medals by cruising through to the finals in the 50m butterfly and the 200m individual medley at a rather empty Dr SP Mukherjee Aquatic Complex.

Those who did turn up at 0830 local time to see arguably the strongest competition in the Games were rewarded when India's Arti Bajarang Ghorpade won the meeting's opening heat, but her time of 2:12:20 seconds was not enough to make the finals of the women's 200m freestyle.

England's double Olympic champion Rebecca Addlington did make the final but was not hanging around for long as she attempted to dash back to the athletes village through the notorious Delhi traffic for some rest.

"I have no time at all," the Beijing 400 and 800m freestyle gold medallist told reporters pool-side.

"It is like an hour back into the village with all the traffic, it (the finals) starts at four, it is so crazy to be honest and not the way anyone of us would normally train," she added.


Image: Emily Seebohm

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Canada, England, Australia favourites

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Another English swimmer to qualify was Liam Tancock, who had no problem in topping the time sheets ahead of Australian pair Daniel Arnamnart and Hayden Stoeckel. The 50m backstroke world record holder will be heavy favourite for the final later on Monday.

Canada's hopes of pool glory centre around Ryan Cochrane and the 21-year-old was impressive in qualifying first for the 400m freestyle.

The Commonwealth's traditional big three of Australia, England and Canada will be expected to claim the five gold medals available at the evening session later on Monday.


Image: Liam Tancock

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