‘Extraordinary’ Aussies break world record, McKeon makes history: Comm Games Wrap

By 01/08/2022News

Article by Zac Rayson and Andrew Jackson courtesy of Fox Sports.

Day 3 of the Commonwealth Games was jam-packed with action, with Aussie medals continuing to flow and records broken.

After dominating in the pool on the opening two days in Birmingham, Australia’s superstar Dolphins team enjoyed a successful outing while there was glory in the rugby sevens.

MCKEON GETS RECORD 11th GOLD IN AUSSIE CLEAN SWEEP

Already the most decorated Australian Olympian of all time, Emma McKeon has made history in the pool with a record-breaking 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal.

McKeon was tied with Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones for the most gold medals in Commonwealth Games history before Monday morning’s women’s 50m freestyle final.

But it was always a matter of when and not if McKeon would break the record and she did it in style on Monday, finishing first with a time of 23.99.

It was a clean sweep for Australia, with Meg Harris (24.32) taking home silver and Shayna Jack (24.36) finishing third.

Emma McKeon is Australia’s golden girl. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“What an amazing swim,” Annabelle Williams said in commentary for Channel 7.

“From start to finish. She had a brilliant start, so dynamic and a clean sweep of the podium.”

Speaking to Channel 7 post-race, McKeon was lost for words, struggling to explain just what makes her so good.

“I don’t what you want me to say,” she said.

“I just get in there and do my best. Take each race one at a time. When I get in I want to

win obviously, like everyone else in the race. It is a fun event for me.

“I feel like I am a lot more relaxed this year than last year. I have not done as much work as I had this time last year but I think the place that I am in mentally is showing in my performances.”

WORLD RECORD FOR AUSTRALIA IN ‘EXTRAORDINARY’ SCENES

There were plenty of highlights to come in the pool, including a stunning world record swim from Australia in the women’s 4x200m freestyle final.

Even without McKeon, the Australians were far too good as they finished a staggering 12 seconds (7.39.29) ahead of Canada (7.51.98) in second.

Madi Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus made up the Australian team, with Titmus bringing it home and swimming 52.8 seconds as coach Dean Boxall rode every moment poolside.

“Australia’s won that by more than 12 seconds,” Ian Thorpe said in commentary for Channel 7.

“That is really extraordinary and we spoke about it earlier, the depth that we have in relays and sprints.”

Gold medalists, Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Ariarne Titmus and Mollie O'Callaghan pose with their medals after setting a new World Record. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

AUSSIES MAKE A SPLASH IN THE POOL AS SHOCK RESULT STUNS

McKeon’s historic moment capped off what was another successful day in the pool for the Australians.

Elsewhere, Kalyee McKeown put in a superb performance to take gold in a thrilling women’s 100m backstroke final.

The Australian world record holder clocker a Games record time of 58.60, just pipping Canadian Kylie Masse who finished in second.

“I was looking for a little bit faster but you’ve got to take the positives… it was way better than the last Comm Games,” she told Channel 7 post-race.

There was a major shock in the men’s 50m breaststroke final, with James Wilby (59.25) stunning the highly-fancied Adam Peaty who failed to finish in the medals.

Zac Stubblety-Cook (59.52) took home bronze while fellow Australian Sam Williamson (59.82) was in third with a personal-best time.

“It is shocking,” Thorpe said in commentary for Channel 7.

Basil Zempilas added: “Oh my goodness … unbelievable that Peaty, who led at the halfway (mark), has not finished in the top three.”

James Wilby of Team England celebrates after winning gold. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Stubblety-Cook was slow to start but that was not necessarily unexpected as he typically likes to finish strong and he did just that while Peaty, who led at the halfway point, fell away.

Peaty was looking for a hat-trick of 100m breaststroke titles at the Commonwealth Games and unbeaten in this race since 2015.

“I was pretty stoked,” Stubblety-Cook said.

“I didn’t really think that just happened, I’m sort of lost for words,” Williamson, who is making his Dolphins debut this Games, added.

“Holy s***, I’m lost for words. I’m probably going to start crying. Unbelievable.”

Elsewhere, Kyle Chalmers made a statement after what he described as a “rough” past 48 hours, finishing first in the men’s 100m freestyle semi-finals.

Chalmers clocked 47.36 — a Games record — as fellow Australians Zac Incerti and William Yang also moved through.

Source: Channel 7

Earlier in the day, Timothy Hodge came agonisingly close to taking home another gold for Australian in the pool, with New Zealand’s Josh Willmer snatching the win in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB8 final.

Willmer clocked a time of 1.14.12, just ahead of Hodge with 1.14.19.

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MORE BRILLIANCE IN THE POOL

Debutant Bowen Gough is through to the final of the Men’s 200m Butterfly as the fourtth-fastest qualifier after winning his heat with a sensational 1:57.53s.

Teammate Brendon Smith snuck in in eighth overall with a 1:58.86s PB, with Kieren Pollard (1:58.99s) narrowly missed out in equal ninth. He would have been hoping to take the role as reserve should another athlete pull out, only to lose out on that in a swim off against Sajan Prakash of India – despite Pollard improving his time to a very impressive 1:58.57s.

Three Aussies qualified for the final of the women’s 200m breaststroke.

Jenna Strauch was second overall with 2:24.97s, with Abbey Harkin fifth in 2:26.11 and Taylor McKeown seventh in 2:28.15 in her final meet. South African Tatjana Schoenmaker was first by over three seconds.

Ben Armbruster led the three Aussie men in qualifying for the men’s 50m backstroke semi-finals. Armbruster was third-fastest in 25.18s. Bradley Woodward was sixth in 25.39 and Mitchell Larkin equal eighth in 25.52. The semi-finals take place from 4:07am AEST on Monday morning.

Emma McKeon qualified fourth-fastest for the women’s 50m butterfly semi-finals in 26.65, just ahead of sixth-placed Alex Perkins in 26.73s. Holly Barratt was seventh in 26.86. Those semi-finals take place 4.17am AEST on Monday morning.

In the men’s 100m freestyle heats, Zac Incerti led the Aussies by qualifying equal-third fastest in 48.84s. Kyle Chalmers was sixth in 48.98s, with William Xu Yang 10th in 49.49s.