AUSTRALIA‚Äôs goldrush in the pool came to a dramatic end on Tuesday night with both our male and female swimmers finishing on a high note.
Teenager Ariarne Titmus won gold in the 400m freestyle and the country‚Äôs relay teams both took out dramatic wins. Bronte Campbell led Australia to victory with the perfect anchor leg in the women‚Äôs 4x100m medley relay while Kyle Chalmers did the same for the men.
On Wednesday the athletics action continues with plenty of medals on offer. The diving program also kicks off and so too does rhythmic gymnastics.
Three Aussies are going for gold in the men‚Äôs long jump while our men‚Äôs hockey team plays New Zealand this afternoon and our netballers take on Jamaica later tonight.
‚ÄėMy heart‚Äôs broken‚Äô
Emma Cox won gold in the women‚Äôs trap shooting earlier today but Aussie boxer Terry Nickolas was unable to make it to the podium in the men‚Äôs 69kg division after he was beaten on Tuesday night.
In an emotional Instagram post on Wednesday Nickolas said although his heart was broken, he was proud of what he‚Äôd achieved.
‚ÄúNothing hurts more right now, my hearts (sic) broken,‚ÄĚ he wrote. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs my Commonwealth Games campaign at an end. I left it all in there last night but fell short. The journey has been amazing & I wouldn‚Äôt change anything for the world.
‚ÄúTo wear the Green & Gold has been a privilege & a dream for years. I made that dream a reality. I‚Äôve had support from everyone & it‚Äôs made me into the fighter I am today.
‚ÄúNot just from family & friends but from people all over Australia & the world and I can‚Äôt thank you all enough. I‚Äôm blessed to have won the hearts of many.
‚ÄúSpecial thank you to my coaches & teammates for everything. Time for me to enjoy the rest of the Games. Thank you. I‚Äôll rise stronger than ever from this. Much love.‚ÄĚ
Agony and ecstasy amid Aussie disaster
Dan Repacholi claimed gold in the men‚Äôs 50m pistol event, scoring 227.2.
The man with arguably the best beard on the Gold Coast celebrated wildly in front of an enthusiastic crowd as he picked up Australia‚Äôs 51st gold medal of the Games.
GOLD ūü•á for ūüá¶ūüáļ Australia!
Dan Repacholi holds his nerve to claim top spot in the men’s 50m pistol ūüôĆ with a score of 227.2.
‚ÄĒ 7CommGames (@7CommGames) April 11, 2018
In the pool the home pairing of Maddison Keeney and Annabelle Smith began strongly in their quest for gold in the women‚Äôs synchronised 3m springboard final before disaster struck.
Keeney completely lost her bearings as the two attempted a front two-and-a-half with a double twist and flew out much further forward than Smith, hitting the water on her back.
‚ÄúAn absolute disaster!‚ÄĚ one Channel 7 commentator said. ‚ÄúMaddison Keeney has lost her awareness in the air and has landed on her back.
‚ÄúThey were both in trouble on the hurdle, Madison was way too far out and has lost control. Hopefully she is OK.
‚ÄúWe were talking about it before the round, anything can happen going into this last round and it has.
‚ÄúDear, oh dear.‚ÄĚ
That agony contrasted with the ecstasy of fellow Australians Esther Qin and Georgia Sheehan, who surged into first place with an excellent final dive shortly after to claim gold.
Keeney and Smith finished seventh after the cruel mishap, leading Olympic gold medallist Matthew Mitcham to question why they tried such a difficult dive.
‚ÄúThat is very disappointing for these two. I mean, a front 2.5 with a double twist is the highest degree of difficulty in this competition and is extremely ambitious,‚ÄĚ Mitcham told Channel 7.
‚ÄúHowever, it does surprise me that that was a foul because looking at the replay she did manage to get the full two twists around but did not quite get her arms above her head.‚ÄĚ
Heartbreak for Maddison Keeney on the last dive. Failed dive. No points.
‚ÄĒ Bridget Lacy (@Lacytalks) April 11, 2018
The Aussies are also locked in a tight battle with England in the women‚Äôs lawn bowls.
Kiwi humiliation gets worse
New Zealand‚Äôs horror run in the netball has continued, losing a second straight match, this time to England.
The Poms defeated the Kiwis 54-45 to heap more misery on the Silver Ferns, who were already reeling from a shock 57-53 loss to Malawi in their opening game.
It‚Äôs the first time England has beaten New Zealand at a major medal tournament since the 1970s, and the result represents the Kiwis‚Äô biggest ever losing margin against England, according to the NZ Herald.
It‚Äôs also the first time England has ever defeated New Zealand in netball at the Commonwealth Games.
‚ÄúWe got enough turnovers, our defensive end did a good enough job, losing the ball in the midcourt and the circle lost us the game,‚ÄĚ Kiwi star Maria Folau said.
‚ÄúAt times it does get tough (holding too much of the shooting responsibility). Our team has faced scrutiny over the past few days … we are extremely tight and we honour the black uniform.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúToday we were way too patchy.‚ÄĚ
New Zealand coach Janine Southby said aspects of her side‚Äôs performance simply weren‚Äôt up to scratch.
‚ÄúToo many mistakes on attack, not enough courage to let the ball go to each other. Just not good enough,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúWe lacked movement in the second quarter … a lot of pressure on Maria (Folau) to put those shots in and others have got to stand up.
‚ÄúWe play well in patches and don‚Äôt string it together enough. I totally believe we have the skills to do it. We are as frustrated as everyone else.‚ÄĚ
Should Uganda thrash Scotland tonight, New Zealand‚Äôs campaign will end, but that is unlikely. The more probably scenario is the Kiwis will still progress to the semi-finals, with Australia looming as their likely opponent.
Channel 7 star humiliates Poms
There‚Äôs nothing Australia loves more than a bit of Pom bashing and Channel 7‚Äôs Sunrise team joined the fun on Wednesday morning.
Australia has 50 gold medals and 130 overall so far at the Commonwealth Games while England has 24 gold and 74 in total. Sunrise co-host David Koch took it upon himself to ram home just how much Australia has dominated the motherland on the Gold Coast.
Feigning sympathy for the English, Koch decided to see how they stacked up when combined with the other countries in Great Britain (given at the Olympics they compete as Great Britain rather than individual countries).
Unfortunately for the Brits, the Aussies still had them covered. Adding Scotland and Wales to England‚Äôs medal haul saw them fall short of the stars in green and gold with a total of 37 golds and 125 medals in total.
‚ÄúI am feeling a bit sorry for the English, though. They have double our population and we are just flogging them in the medal count with 50 gold medals,‚ÄĚ Koch said. ‚ÄúWhat I thought I would do is go back to the old Great Britain, bring in Scotland and Wales to boost their confidence.
‚ÄúI have done a medal tally, our gold medal tally is 50 gold medals and as a combined, they only have 37.
‚ÄúTheir total medals is just 125, still just to make you feel better, you are still not as good. In total Great Britain has 65 million people.
‚ÄúI just thought I would do that calculation.‚ÄĚ
Thorpe breaks silence on police bust drama
Ian Thorpe has broken his silence on a bizarre incident that saw him and fellow Aussie swim legend Giaan Rooney inadvertently caught up in a police bust involving a car that was either stolen or had stolen number plates.
The pair are commentating for Channel 7 at the Commonwealth Games and the network‚Äôs stars have been transported around the Gold Coast by hire car drivers.
It just happens that the hire car transporting Thorpe and Rooney on Saturday aroused the suspicion of Gold Coast police.
Speaking on Channel 7 on Tuesday night, Thorpe explained what went down.
‚ÄúWe got to a vehicle checkpoint ‚ÄĒ so well done police for picking up on it ‚ÄĒ they checked the numbers … (and) checked the plates,‚ÄĚ Thorpe said. ‚ÄúThe plates were stolen on our car, which was a rental car as well.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôd gone through security, had our passes checked and everything was fine, got back to the car and the police said, ‚ÄėWell, you realise this car may be stolen or the plates are stolen.‚Äô
‚ÄúWe were like, ‚ÄėYou‚Äôre joking, right?‚Äô
‚ÄúThe police said, ‚ÄėWe don‚Äôt joke about things like this‚Äô and I thought, ‚ÄėWell played police.‚Äô I thought they were still joking at this stage but then it turns out it was real so we said, ‚ÄėWe‚Äôve got to go and work, can we just ditch that car?‚Äô
‚ÄúWe then left our driver and we walked off then we thought, ‚ÄėOh, we better check and make sure he‚Äôs OK.‚Äô It was an afterthought but we did do it.
‚ÄúTurns out he‚Äôs fine, he wasn‚Äôt detained and the car‚Äôs back and we got a new car out of it.‚ÄĚ
On Sunday a Queensland Police Services media statement said no charges had been laid over the incident.
Swimmers finish on a high note
Spine-tingling wins in the final-night medley relays at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday crowned a spectacular showing in the pool for Australia that has raised hopes for future Olympic success.
Bronte Campbell, preferred to elder sister Cate for the freestyle anchor leg, overhauled Canada‚Äôs Taylor Ruck to seal a thrilling victory in the 4x100m medley in Games record time.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs pretty unreal, it‚Äôs very rare that I get a swim in the medley relay at all,‚ÄĚ Bronte said.
‚ÄúWe knew Canada was going to be really strong, but I‚Äôm just glad that the girls set me up and we did a good job in the end.‚ÄĚ
Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers then reeled in England‚Äôs Ben Proud in a supercharged final lap to win the men‚Äôs medley relay by just nine hundredths in the final event of the six-day meet.
It left the host nation alone at the top with 21 golds on the able-bodied swimming medal tally, well ahead of England and South Africa, both on six golds.
Australia also won seven more golds in the para swimming events for a combined team tally of 73 medals.
Australia have not lost in the pool at a Commonwealth Games since going down to Canada at Edmonton in 1978.
Mitch Larkin was Australia‚Äôs most successful swimmer with five golds in five events, including a backstroke sweep, while Chalmers won four titles ‚ÄĒ three in relays, but had to settle for silver in the 100m free, the event he won at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Campbell sisters and rising teen star Ariarne Titmus finished with three golds and a silver.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got such a great team,‚ÄĚ said Larkin, looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
‚ÄúWe just swam through our skin, we held our nerve, showed up in those pressure situations.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve had some tough years.
‚ÄúBut it sets us up with some great confidence heading into next year and hopefully on to 2020.‚ÄĚ
Australia‚Äôs head coach Jacco Verhaeren pointed to a greater number of personal and season-best times as justification for his move to bring the selection trials closer to the Games competition in line with other major nations.
‚ÄúOur aim was to make Australia proud and show Australia what we‚Äôre made of and we succeeded in that,‚ÄĚ said the Dutchman.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre hitting about a 65 per cent rate in terms of personal best times, season best times, and that‚Äôs a very good score.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs double the Rio Olympics.‚ÄĚ
Verhaeren plans to put his swimmers through a training camp in tropical north Queensland ahead of the Pan Pacific competition in Tokyo this August ‚ÄĒ and use it as a preparation blueprint for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Commonwealth gold rush has given Australian swimming a boost after a 10-medal haul at Rio that featured just three golds with a new generation of swimmers, headed by Olympic champions Chalmers and Mack Horton at the forefront.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs great to win this amount of medals,‚ÄĚ Verhaeren said.
‚ÄúBut in doing that you need performances and medals ‚ÄĒ and from what I can see the people love it, so we love it too.‚ÄĚ