Australia’s women have smashed the world record in the 4 x 100 m freestyle relay at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The relay victory – which featured sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell – capped a remarkable opening day of competition, in which:
• Emma McKeon won two gold medals, the women’s 200 m freestyle and as a member of the relay team. Her brother David also took silver in the 400 m.
• 16-year-old Rowan Crothers broke the world record in the S9 freestyle.
• Flag bearer Anna Meares became Australia’s most successful ever Commonwealth Games cyclist, winning the 500 m time trial.
• The men’s pursuit team defeated arch-rivals England to win gold in the ‘cycling Ashes’.
To quote Muhammad Ali, ‘We are the greatest’
The relay team of Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Melanie Schlanger clocked three minutes and 30.98 seconds in Thursday night’s final.
The Olympic champions eclipsed the previous world mark of 3:31.72 set by the Dutch in super suits at the controversial world 2009 championships in Rome. England were second in 3:35.72 and Canada (3:40.00) third.
“To quote Muhammad Ali, ‘We are the greatest’,” an ebulliant Cate Campbell said on the pool deck after bringing the team home in the final leg. “I’ve been waiting to say that for a while.”
She said the last 25 metres were extraordinary, and she knew from the reaction of the crowd and her teammates that they had set a new world mark.
“Normally you can’t hear anything, but the crowd was on its feet screaming. When I hit the wall, I didn’t have to look (at the scoreboard).
“To share a world record is something we couldn’t even have dreamt of. We dreamt of representing Australia together, but to hold a world record together is incredible.”
McKeon siblings take gold, silver
Australia’s Emma McKeon has claimed the women’s 200m freestyle gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The 20-year-old Games rookie clocked one minute, 55.57 seconds – a new Games record – to finish ahead of England’s Siobhan O’Connor.
Australia’s Bronte Barratt claimed bronze.
McKeon claimed Australia’s first gold of the Games in the pool after older brother David faded to settle for silver in the men’s 400m freestyle final at the Tollcross Swimming Centre.
It added another chapter to the family’s rich history.
Father and ex-coach Ron – a former Olympian – and mother Susie (nee Woodhouse) both represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games.
Emma McKeon – a dual 2013 world titles silver medallist – had clocked a Games record 1:56.57 earlier on Thursday to be the fastest qualifier for the final.
Teenager sets new world mark
Australia’s first world record of the Games came in the S9 100m freestyle event, when 16-year-old Rowan Crothers beat teammate Matt Cowdrey to win the race in 54.58 seconds.
Brenden Hall made it a 1-2-3 for Australia taking the bronze.
Meares cycles into history
Cyclist Anna Meares won Australia’s first gold medal of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, taking out the women’s 500m time-trial event for the third Games running.
Meares, who carried the flag for Australia in yesterday’s opening ceremony, produced a brilliant ride to take the gold medal in a time of 33.435 seconds.
Her Australian team-mate Stephanie Morton won silver in 34.079 seconds, with England’s Jessica Varnish taking the bronze medal in 34.267 seconds.
Meares is racing in her fourth Commonwealth Games competition on the track.
The win gave Meares the fifth gold medal of her career at the Commonwealth Games and she is now Australia’s most successful female cyclist at the Games.
Australia wins ‘cycling Ashes’
Australia broke their own Commonwealth Games record to easily win the 4000m men’s team pursuit gold medal on day one of track cycling.
The combination of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O’Shea dominated qualifying and were too strong for a top-class English combination that featured Bradley Wiggins in the gold medal ride-off.
Australia clocked three minutes 54.851 seconds, beating the old Games mark of 3:55.421 from Delhi.
Despite losing Davison at halfway, Australia were never troubled and England were well off the pace with 4:00.136.
The Ashes rivalry between Australia and British riders in the men’s team pursuit goes back for more than a decade.
Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, was competing on the track for the first time since the 2008 Olympics. This will be his only event at the Games.
Wiggins and team-mates Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant are all either Olympic or world champions.
But Australia won the world title earlier this year and have again shown they are the team to beat ahead of the Rio Olympics.
Bobridge joined the team for the first time in two years and his three compatriots were in the victorious world titles combination.
New Zealand took bronze.
Netballers beat up on Wales
The Australian netball team began its campaign with a solid 63-36 triumph over Wales.
The Diamonds, who won Commonwealth Games gold in 1998 and 2002, were rarely troubled by the Welsh, having led at every break.
They meet England in their next group match on Saturday evening (AEST).
Hockeyroos beat up on Malaysia
The Australian women’s hockey team opened their account with a comfortable 4-0 win over Malaysia in Glasgow.
Georgie Parker posted a double for the Hockeyroos, while Kellie White and Jodie Kenny also got on the scoreboard.
The Hockeyroos, the defending champions, next face Wales on Friday.
England cleans up in triathlon
England’s Jodie Stimpson claimed the first gold medal of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, winning the women’s triathlon.
Stimpson finished strongly to sprint away from Canada’s Kirsten Sweetland in the late stages of the 10-kilometre run leg at Strathclyde Loch.
Sweetland took silver and England’s Vicky Holland won the bronze, while Emma Jackson was the best-placed Australian in fifth.
In the men’s event, the amazing Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonathan – took out the quinella for England. The 1-2 triumph came after Alistair won gold and Jonathan bronze in the London 2012 Olympics.
Australia had three men in the top 10: Ryan Bailie (5th), Aaron Royle (8th) and Dan Wilson (9th). Richard Murray of South Africa took bronze.