McKeon takes home eight medals – six golds, a silver and a bronze – making Australia’s most successful Olympic athlete the most prolific Commonwealth athlete. “The main thing was definitely the mental toll,” she said. “It’s been a big week. It was physically tough but I’ve trained for that. Mentally, you have to get up to race.”
You’ve gotta work awfully hard to make something look this natural and easy. You think for a second McKeon was born to swim, but it’s not like that. Once, in Mumbai, when Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was asked about his God-given gift to bat, he suggested his success was probably more due to hitting hundreds of thousands of balls in the nets. Perfectionism is at the heart of McKeon’s success, and the cause of her ongoing internal battles.
Unemployment is at a near 50-year low of 3.5 per cent. Yet only three per cent of Australia’s pensioners work, compared with 25 per cent in New Zealand, where they are not charged with penalties beyond income tax. Rebekah Sharkie, the Federal Independent MP for Mayo near Adelaide since 2016, and Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, believe over-65s should be able to work more without losing their benefits. She wants an opt-in scheme that would either increase or remove the income-test threshold for pensioners with limited savings, and will now have the issue discussed at next month’s Skills Summit in Canberra ahead of the next the Federal Budget in October.
Clancy said it feels great to be taking the steps towards where they want to be, the gold medal match. “I’m feeling good about the quarters, we’re going to enjoy this moment that’s for sure,” Clancy said. “We’re going to take some time to recover tonight and be ready to go again tomorrow,” she said. Artacho del Solar admitted while it is exciting to have progressed, it’s still about taking it one game at a time.
“Amazing, it feels very good,” Short said. “It’s what I’ve been training for, for a long time and then I finally put the race together properly and ticked the box. “I would have preferred a good time over the gold but to get both is amazing. “When I was younger, I had a tendency to gas myself early and now I try to build the race and be smarter. “I mean, it’s tricky. I think the trick is count once and get it right. My race plan was like building the hundreds. Mentally I was focused. I had someone with me the whole time so I didn’t have room to switch off and I just focused.”
Dominant Titmus caps triumphant week in pool She’s no stranger to success , but Ariarne Titmus has now achieved something no other female swimhas in more than half a century. But the final gold was the one that clearly meant the most. “The 400m is my baby,” Titmus , also the Olympic champion and world-record holder at the distance , said. She beat Canada’s flying 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, who is looming as a major threat at the 2024 Paris Olympics , with fellow Australian Kiah Melverton securing bronze. “I’m excited to get the job done personally but also for the country,” said Titmus, who skipped June’s World Championships in Budapest to target the Commonwealth Games after overcoming COVID. “I think that, back home, Australia really prides itself on success in the pool at the Comm Games.
It’s a couple of hours after the Commonwealth Games swimming meet. The Australian team converges on a back pavilion to hoot and holler and hand out a few gongs in an in-house presentation ceremony. The late-night silence is broken by the old refrain of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi oi. It sounds less grating when athletes do it. Of the 52 finals at Birmingham’s Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Australia won 25, grabbing 20 silver and 20 bronze for good measure. On closing night Mollie O’Callaghan finished her evolution from rising star to shooting star by grabbing her fifth gold in the medley relay. “Pretty epic,” the 18-year-old said. “We all crushed it this week.”