Prince Charles was joking when he declared that the rest of the Commonwealth was “terrified of the Aussies” but didn’t our Dolphins prove they should be.
65 medals in all, 25 of those Gold. There were multiple clean sweeps two world records with champions creating memories to cherish for the rest of their lives.
With crowds back and international borders open, many of our rising stars have had their parents back in the grandstands a privilege not afforded during the pandemic-affected Tokyo Olympics.
What performances they saw. The gold rush saw Emma Mckeon take her personal tally to in her Commonwealth Games career to 14 Golds. That makes her the most successful Games athlete of all time.
Ariarne Titmus won four golds and became the first woman in more than 50 years to win the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle. The last was Carlile’s Karen Morass in 1970. Carlile’s Se-Bom Lee was a finalist in both of his medley events.
Mollie O’Callaghan sizzled with five Gold’s including the 100m freestyle and her part alongside Titmus, Maddi Wilson and Kiah Melverton in the 4x200m freestyle relay world record. The men’s 100m free was dominated by Kyle Chalmers and he also anchored the 4x100m freestyle relay team to Gold and a games record.
Australia only missed a clean sweep of all relay events when Chalmers was touched out in the men’s 4x100m medley by 0.08.
Visually impaired swimmer Katja Dedekind also grabbed a world record in the s13 50m freestyle. Katja couldn’t see the results on the scoreboard, and only realised her feat when told by Cate Campbell in the post-race interview. Her reply was a classic “oh my god, holey moley” before hugging her teammates.
Meanwhile, para-swimming legend Ellie Cole might not have finished with the elusive Commonwealth Gold that she’d been hoping for in the last swim of her illustrious career, but showed enormous strength and determination, finishing in fifth in the final of the women’s S9 at her third Commonwealth Games
Zac Stubblety-Cook completed an extraordinary 12 months which have seen him become an Olympic champion, world record holder, World champion and Commonwealth champion by winning the 200 breaststroke a year to the day after his Olympic Gold. Elijah Winnington added the 400m freestyle Commonwealth gold to his world championship win and 18-year-old Sam Short marked himself as a 1500m star taking Gold and breaking 15minutes for the first time with a swim of 14.58.54
Young Lizzie Dekkers continues to shine in the 200fly with gold, but just behind her is Abbey Connor another teenager. Last year Abbey broke Michelle Ford’s 1978 age group 200 fly record. Michelle of course was an Olympic gold and bronze medallist in Moscow. Conner was fourth in Birmingham but on the rise. Here’s hoping Dekkers and Connor can push each other the way Petria Thomas and Susie O’Niel did back in their glory years.
World record holder Kaylee McKeown took the backstroke double on the way to four golds.Elsewhere Shayna Jack bounced back from her suspension, with relay Gold and a spot in an Aussie clean sweep of the 100m freestyle with silver behind Mollie O and ahead of Mckeon. While Cody Simpson continued his remarkable return to the pool. The one-time age group champion and pop star spent ten years out of the water and now he’s a Commonwealth Games individual finalist and a Gold and Silver in the relays – here’s looking ahead to Paris.