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ESP’s Swimmers Dominating in the Pool on First Day of Games

Australia’s golden era of the pool is finally back after a stunning opening night of racing at the Commonwealth Games was capped with the swim team’s first world record since 2009.

Led by new darling of the pool Emma McKeon with two gold medals, Australia won three gold medals on the first night of racing with the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team smashing a world record that has stood since the dreaded super suit era.

McKeon swam the third leg of the relay, her third race of the night which also included victory in the 200m freestyle and qualifying fourth fastest in the 100m butterfly.

(L-R) Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Melanie Schlanger of Australia celebrate their world record and gold medal. Source: Getty Images

“Overwhelming I guess. I wasn’t expecting any of this. I don’t know. I’m speechless,” McKeon said.

“It’s something I wanted to do definitely, but I just wanted to come and do the best I could do and I guess that got me gold medals.”

It was a truly lionhearted performance from the 20-year-old as she joinedCate Campbell, Bronte Campbell and Melanie Schlanger in a resounding relay win in 3:30.98, almost a full second quicker than the time set by The Netherlands five years ago.

“Not only a world record a super suits world record, this is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s incredible,” Cate Campbell said.

Gold medallists Australia’s Cate Campbell, Australia’s Melanie Schlanger, Australia’s Emma McKeon and Australia’s Bronte Campbell are cheered on by members of the Australian swimming team. Source: AFP

“When we saw that world record set in 2009 we were like ‘well that’s it for the next 10 years’.

“This is beyond incredible and to share it with my sister is something that we could not have dreamed of.”

Schlanger was the only one of the quartet who actually realised the team had broken the world record and had to shout over the wild noise of the crowd to alert her teammates to their moment in history.

“To be part of a world record gives me goosebumps,” Schlanger said.

“Australia used to break them all the time. It used to kind of not be a big deal so to be a part of something that has brought that legacy back a little bit I’m sure we will see a few more tumbled in the next couple of years as we get closer to the suit records.

“We didn’t even talk about it to each other. It wasn’t even a topic we’d discussed. But I think we all kind of had an inkling in the back of our head we had a chance.

“I went nuts and they didn’t quite realise and I was telling them it was a world record. It was pretty cool, once they realised they were pretty excited.”

Bronte Campbell (L), Melanie Schlanger (C) and Emma McKeon of Australia cheer on the way to setting the record.Source: Getty Images

Bronte Campbell said a world record was simply beyond anything she’d ever dreamed about growing up as an aspiring swimmer. Her head was spinning so much she still didn’t know their time more than half an hour after the win.

“To be brutally honest I had no idea, I don’t know what time we did, I don’t even know what the world record was or is now,” Bronte said.

“The only reason I knew what was going on is because I clued in the crowd was going nuts and Mel was going crazy.

“I just can’t believe it. Its beyond words, it’s not something I’d ever thought of. It hadn’t crossed my mind, that makes it more special.”

Earlier McKeon had followed in the giant footsteps of her father Ron McKeon and won the 200m freestyle gold medal at the Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow exactly 36 years after his win in the same event at Edmonton.

She won in a time of 1:55.57 from England’s Siobhan O’Connor (1:55.82) with Australia’s Bronte Barratt claiming the bronze in 1:56.62.

“I definitely enjoyed it all, walking around the pool deck and signing the national anthem,” McKeon said.

“My family is just very proud of me and my brother.”

It was a superb victory by McKeon coming hot on the heels of her older brother David McKeon’s silver medal swim in the 400m freestyle – an event Ron had also won in Edmonton in 1978.

McKeon was gallantly beaten to the gold medal in a thrilling final, taking silver in 3:44.09 as Canada’s Ryan Cochrane produced a stunning final 100m burst to claim gold in 3:43.46.

 

David McKeon had been the hot pre-race favourite but can take solace in the fact the Canadian’s time was beyond anything the Australian had ever swum in his career.

 

McKeon had been well clear for the first 300m of the race but his flying start came back to bite him in the last two laps as the Canadian distance specialist finished all over the top of him.

 

“I’m really happy with it, it’s a silver medal,” David McKeon said.

 

“I still have to work on my race speed but this was a stepping stone

through to Rio and I think I put together a good day here. I made the final so that was a big step for me. When I started the sport four years ago this was the team I wanted to make and I wanted to go well here.

 

“This is my third year on the team and I can’t ask for more than that.’’

Australia also claimed a gold medal in the Para-sport men’s 100m freestyle with Rowan Crothers (54.58s) breaking the world record and leading home a cleansweep for the country from Matthew Cowdrey(56.33s) and Brenden Hall (56.85s).

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