Swimming superstars Emma McKeon and Chad le Clos made Commonwealth Games history on Sunday as Adam Peaty suffered a shock defeat while track cycling was eclipsed by a horror smash.
McKeon now has 11 Games gold medals in her career – more than any other Australian after winning the women’s 50m freestyle.
McKeon’s crowning moment in the Commonwealth was very special as her family were there to witness it – they were absent at the Tokyo Olympics last year, where she won seven medals, including four gold.
“They were the ones who inspired me when I was young,” she said. “I remember watching them on TV and it lit the fire in me to be where I am now. I have to thank them.”
Sunday’s final goes back 10 years to the day since he beat American great Michael Phelps at London 2012 in the same event to become Olympic champion.
“I would have cut my finger to win tonight,” he said.
“I will be on the top step of the podium in 2022, so whether it’s this week or the short course world (championships), it’s a promise.”
Peaty, who missed the world championships in Budapest in June after breaking his foot, was unbeaten in the 100m breaststroke at a long course world championship since 2014.
“When it comes to racing, sometimes it doesn’t go to plan,” Peaty told the BBC. “I was in pain in the 50m but you know it’s a lack of training, a lack of running.”
The Australian women’s 4x200m relay team raised the level of excitement after Peaty’s defeat by setting a new world record — the first of the Games — in a time of 7min 39.29sec.
Australia also had a good day in track cycling, but their three gold medal haul was overshadowed by a horrific accident.
Walls and two other runners – Matt Bostock of the Isle of Man and Derek Gee of Canada – were taken to hospital, but Walls was released later on Sunday.
“I really hope everyone else involved is doing well, including the spectators who may have been injured.”
Rugby sevens ended in Coventry, with South Africa inflicting even more Commonwealth Games woes on Olympic champions Fiji.
The distraught players fell to their knees at the final whistle.
Fiji disappointed again in the women’s final as they lost 22-12 to Australia.
Originally published as McKeon reigns in Commonwealth pool as horror crash marches on track