Gold Coast: Kyle Chalmers led an Aussie one-two in the 200 metres freestyle and anchored an emphatic relay win as the hosts grabbed a stunning five gold medals in the Commonwealth Games pool today.
Chalmers, the Olympic 100m freestyle champion, made a trademark last-lap surge to take 200m gold in a personal best of one minute 45.56 seconds, the second fastest time in the world this year.
Chalmers then claimed his second Commonwealth gold in the mens 4x100m freestyle relay victory as Australia dominated the second evening, with sprint queen Cate Campbell again in record-breaking form on the Gold Coast.
Campbell, who anchored Australia to a world record as they won the 4x100m freestyle relay on Thursday, broke the Games mark with 23.88 seconds in her 50m freestyle semi-final.
She was under world record pace for most of the one-length race before finishing just 0.21sec outside Swede Sarah Sjostroms world record of 23.67sec.
“Its been fantastic, really good. All the guys are swimming out of their skin really,” Australias head coach Jacco Verhaeren said.
“Most of them are faster than at trials and that was the plan. There have been many highlights. I cant choose a medal but theyre all special.” Chalmers continues to grow in stature after becoming the first Australian man in 48 years to win the Olympic 100m freestyle title in Rio two years ago.
He beat Mack Horton in the Games selection trials last month and repeated the feat on Friday, improving his time by 0.93sec in the outdoor Southport pool.
“Obviously I have to have that bit more practice on how to actually swim the (200m) race,” Chalmers said.
“I like to try and stick with people and try and go in that last 50, when I actually have to swim my own race right from the start, because I do have that 100m background.
“I probably should be that bit quicker, but to be able to come home like that in the last 50 gives me great confidence for the 200m.” – Super Campbell –
Horton, who backed up his Rio Olympic 400m freestyle gold with victory in the event in Thursdays Games final, was delighted to complete an Aussie one-two.
“Kyle and I became really great mates while in Rio, where we both shared gold,” he said. “Its special to do it with him here in front of a home crowd.”
Meanwhile, Campbell continued her sizzling form at the Gold Coast meet with another reco
rd in the 50m freestyle semi-final.
“Its nice to have a few of them every once in a while,” she said. “To swim a sub-24 seconds is something that only a handful of people can do, and have done in history.”
Looking ahead to the possibility of a clean sweep of her events at the meet — the 50m/100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay — she added: “I havent even thought that far. Its all about my next process rather than looking towards results.”
To cap a barn-storming night for Australia, there were further gold medals for Mitch Larkin (100m backstroke), Clyde Lewis (400m individual medley) and Emma McKeon (100m butterfly).