Friday, 22 March, 2019

Australia smash team pursuit world record as England take silver

Sam Webster facing is embraced by NZ team sprint team-mates Ethan Mitchell left and Eddie Dawkins after winning gold Australia smash team pursuit world record as England take silver
Shannon Reynolds | 07 April, 2018, 13:13

With AP Photos.Australia's 4x100-meter women's freestyle relay team has done it again by breaking its own world record on the opening night of the swim program at the Commonwealth Games.

England took the bronze, more than eight seconds behind Australia.

Cate Campbell swam a blistering last leg in her return to competitive swimming after taking a year off after the Olympics - she clocked 51.00 seconds for her 100m.

The Australians haven't lost the event at a Commonwealth Games since 1994, at Victoria, Canada.

"She was there lifting that barbell with me ... that was dedicated to her", said an emotional Toomey, who made six clean lifts, 87kg in the snatch and 114kg in the clean and jerk to take gold in an event that has evaded Australia since Melbourne 2006.

The Australians also triumphed in the women's team pursuit and women's team sprint - each time over New Zealand - to carry home three of the four golds up for grabs on the first day of cycling action on the track. "I could hear them roaring as I was coming down the last 25m".

"I think that is what we have done".

"My parents were in the stand, and they've travelled all this way to support me and I just really, really wanted a gold medal".

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England's Zoe Smith challenged for the gold after successfully completing all six of her attempts but had to settle for silver. Lewis Clareburt claimed New Zealand's first swimming medal in stunning fashion at the Commonwealth Games .

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Facing rivals England in a contest dubbed by the Velodrome announcer as the "Ashes of cycling", the home team of Leigh Howard, Sam Welsford, Kelland O'Brien and Alex Porter did not disappoint an expectant crowd.

"I was devastated after not winning a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and since then I have made it my life's mission to become the best in my sport", Mirabai said.

In a field boasting the South African Chad Le Clos and England's James Guy, Australia's Rio golden boys Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton led the way, chasing down the fast-starting Le Clos to deliver an impressive one-two finish in the men's 200m freestyle. That didn't happen so much in Rio, so it's just unreal.

It was a satisfying return for Campbell, who had been a hot favourite to win gold in both the 50m and 100m freestyle at the Rio Games, but finished outside the medals in both.

"To come back from a year off and to be part of something where you're the best in the world is a pretty special moment", she told reporters.

England also claimed two gold medals on the opening night with Aimee Wilmott denying Hannah Miley's bid for a Scottish record three consecutive 400m individual medley gold medals and James Wilby dethroning Scottish defending champion Ross Murdoch in the 200m breaststroke.

"I know I have a lot of fans who were wanting to watch me race".

Canada finished second in 3:33.92 with England third nearly five seconds further back.

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