Swimmers finish Glasgow with golden glow30 July 2014
COMM GAMES SWIMMING: The Australian Swim Team will depart Glasgow having wrapped up their 2014 Commonwealth Games campaign winning a total of 57 medals (19 gold, 21 silver and 17 bronze), including five of the six relay gold medals and setting four world records.
In Olympic events, Australian swimmers on 42 medals (14 gold, 16 silver, 12 bronze). 10 Commonwealth Games Records were set of which one was the remarkable world record in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
The team of 59 swimmers won a further eight medals on the final night of competition, including gold to Daniel Tranter in the men’s 200m IM and gold for Emily Seebohm, Lorna Tonks, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.
A World Championship finalist in the 200m IM last year, Tranter swam the race of his life to overcome Scotland’s Daniel Wallace (1:58.72) and Olympic gold medallist Chad Le Clos (1:58.85) to grab the first gold medal of the night and set a new Games record in the process.
Following a sensational breaststroke leg, Tranter moved into first place and could not be caught as he stormed into the wall to record a time of 1:57.83 and take the win. Also impressing with a fast third leg was three-time medallist from the meet so far, Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:58.86) who missed the podium by just 0.01 of a second.
Having won the women’s 4x100m medley relay at every Games since 1990, the women’s team of Seebohm, Tonks, McKeon and Cate Campbell, proudly carried on the tradition for Australia picking up the gold medal in a Games record time of 3:56.23.
With England leading at the half way mark, a superb butterfly leg from McKeon and then a blistering 51.59 split for Cate Campbell in the freestyle saw Australia add one last gold medal to their haul and make it a clean sweep of the women’s relay events. England finished with the silver medal in 3:57.03 with Canada rounding out the top three in 4:00.57.
In the corresponding men’s event, the Australian team of Mitch Larkin, Christian Sprenger, Jayden Hadler and James Magnussen finished just shy of the top spot with James Magnussen anchoring the team to the silver in 3:32.21. England (3:31.51) touched the wall just 0.70 ahead of Australia to steal the gold medal while South Africa were third in 3:34.47.
As the white water cleared in the men’s 50m freestyle splash and dash it was England’s Ben Proud who touched the wall first and spoiled another clean sweep of the podium from Australia. Proud took the gold ahead of Cameron McEvoy (22.00) in the silver medal position, James Magnussen (22.10) with the bronze and Matthew Abood (22.14) in fourth.
With a proud history in the men’s 1500m freestyle, Australia had two teenagers in the water looking to carry on that legacy. World Junior Champion and World Junior record holder in the event, Mack Horton won his first senior individual international medal with silver behind defending champion Ryan Cochrane (14:44.03).
Hitting the wall in a new personal best time of 14:48.76, Horton moved into third place on the Australian all-time top ten, with only Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins ahead of him.
Keeping up with the pace for the majority of the race, Jordan Harrison (14:55.71) just missed the podium with Welsh swimmer Daniel Jervis sprinting home over the last 50m to take third place in a time of 14:55.33.
The women’s 400m freestyle saw dual medallist from the meet so far Bronte Barratt bag another bronze medal for her effort in the final. In a demanding race that saw a number of swimmers fighting for a minor medal, it was Barratt who managed to get her hand on the wall for bronze behind New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle (4:04.47) and Jazz Carlin (4:05.16) from Wales.
Swimming in her first major international final, 17-year-old Remy Fairweather hit the wall in sixth place in a time of 4:07.65.
The Australian Swim Team will now depart Glasgow on Wednesday evening local time to return to Australia and start preparations for the 2014 Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast starting August 21.
This will give an even better indication of how the swim team is travelling around 2 years out from Rio 2016.
Swimming Australia and AOC (Olympic events coverage)
Double triple as swimmers re-write history – Day 5 Wrap (29 July)
COMM GAMES SWIMMING: The penultimate night of swimming finals started and finished in emphatic fashion with the Australian Swim Team adding a further 11 medals to their tally, including a clean sweep of both the men’s 200m backstroke and the women’s 100m freestyle.
The first event of the evening saw 21-year-old Mitch Larkin pick up his third medal of the meet and create history in the men’s 200m backstroke, breaking the gold medal drought in the event that had stood since Brad Cooper won gold at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.
Larkin’s teammates Joshua Beaver and Matson Lawson (1:56.63) helped Australia to its third clean sweep of the Games when they hit the wall second and third respectively with Beaver clocking a personal best time of 1:56.19.
The Australian women then finished the night the way it had begun with world record breaking teammates from the 4x100m freestyle relay Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell and Emma McKeon asserting their dominance in the 100m free to finish with gold, silver and bronze medals, just as the Australian men had done the night before.
In an impressive display of speed and skill, Cate turned at the 50m metre mark well under world record pace and held on to the lead to take the win ahead of her sister Bronte in a time of 52.68 – the fastest time in the world this year.
Not to be outdone in the speed stakes, Bronte came home strong in the final lap to also record a sub-53-second time and secure silver in 52.86 with McKeon collecting the bronze - her fifth medal of the Games in a time of 53.61.
Not since 1958 when Dawn Fraser, Lorraine Crapp, and Alva Colquhoun went one, two, three in Cardiff had an Aussie trio dominated the women’s 100m freestyle at the Games.
After years of narrowly missing the national team, Lorna Tonks has proved her potential at an international level, picking up the silver medal in the final of the women’s 100m breaststroke, clocking a 1:07.34 to finish just outside her personal best time from April this year. England’s Sophie Taylor (1:06.35) hit the wall first with Tonks passing Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson (1:08.14) in the final stages of the race to sneak into second place.
Both Sally Hunter (1:08.26) and Leiston Pickett (1:08.46) were just out-touched for a place on the podium finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Australia then added to their bronze medal haul with both Maddie Groves and Christian Sprenger stepping up on to the medal dais in their respective events.
Groves then won her first individual medal at a major international meet, claiming bronze in the women’s 200m butterfly with a time of 2:08.44. The gold medal went to Canada’s Audrey Lacroix (2:07.61) with Aimee Wilmott from England finishing with the silver in 2:08.07. While Ellen Gandy was seventh in 2:09.51.
In other ‘Olympic’ events…
Women’s 800m Freestyle
World Junior Champion in this event from 2013 Alanna Bowles swam the race of her life in the final of the women’s 800m freestyle, finishing just outside the medals in fourth place and setting a new personal best time of 8:24.74. At just 16-years-of-age, that time puts the Commonwealth Games debutant into seventh place on the Australian all-time top ten and is a promising sign on the road to Rio. Fellow Australian Jessica Ashwood finished sixth in 8:29.32 with Laura Crockart eighth in 8:41.64
Men’s 100m Butterfly
Olympic gold medallist in this event Chad Le Clos was too strong for the rest of the field in the final of the men’s 100m butterfly, grabbing gold and setting a new Games record in 51.29. Jayden Hadler (52.42) was the best placed Australian finishing just off the pace in fourth place with dual medallist from the meet so far Tommaso D’Orsogna (52.45) fifth and Chris Wright (52.88) eighth.
Men’s 50m Freestyle semi-finals
With two silver medals to his name from the 100 and 200m freestyle, Cameron McEvoy will be looking to upgrade to gold tomorrow night in the final of the men’s 50m freestyle after qualifying second fastest in a time of 21.94 just behind England’s Ben Proud in 21.76. Anything can happen in the one lap dash so don’t discount experienced competitors Matthew Abood who clocked a 22.07 from the semi-finals and James Magnussen in 22.26.
Swimming Australia (Olympic events coverage)