Commonwealth Games: Four more swimming golds for Australia, double joy for England
Glasgow: Australia continued to lead the way in the pool at the Commonwealth Games as they won four more gold medals on Friday, while England claimed their first two swimming golds.
There was also more joy for the hosts Scotland as Dan Martin won the men`s 400m individual medley and Canada`s Katerine Savard was the other victor of the evening in the women`s 100m butterfly.
Australia`s gold rush continued as the men`s 4x100m freestyle relay team retained their title ahead of South Africa and England to claim their seventh victory from a possible 14 events to round off the night.
Leiston Pickett became the first swimmer to retain a 50m Commonwealth breaststroke title, while there was an Aussie one-two in the men`s 200m freestyle as Thomas Fraser-Holmes edged out Cameron McEvoy with Calum Jarvis claiming Wales` first medal of the meet in third.
There was also a world record for Maddison Elliott in the women`s para-sport 100m freestyle S8 ahead of England`s Stephanie Slater and another Australian Lakeisha Patterson.
However, the Aussies didn`t have it all their own way as the home nations battled back to win three golds.
Benjamin Proud claimed England`s first of the meet in the men`s 50m butterfly ahead of South African duo Roland Schoeman and Chad le Clos.
"I don`t know what to say. I just treated it like any other race, but now tears are almost in my eyes," said the 19-year-old.
Chris Walker-Hebborn then ensured the men`s 100m backstroke Commonwealth title remained in English hands with a Games record time of 53:12sec.
Defending 100m backstroke champion Liam Tancock was tied for third with Australia`s Josh Beaver, whilst another Aussie Mitch Larkin took silver.
"I`m over the moon. I`m a bit emotional and speechless at the moment.
"It definitely helps to see your squad doing so well," said Walker-Hebborn on an evening when England won six medals in all.
The biggest cheer of the evening was definitely reserved for Wallace as he won Scotland`s third swimming gold in two days following the success of Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch on Thursday.
Wallace admitted he had been inspired by the film "Braveheart" as he edged out Fraser-Holmes and Canada`s Sebastien Roussea.
The 21-year-old could be seen bellowing "freedom" after touching the wall to seal the win, just as his namesake William Wallace does in the film.
"I just screamed `freedom` at the top of my lungs because just being here in front of a home crowd just brought out the Braveheart inside of me," he said.
"I watched it just last week to get ready for this. It`s such a Scottish thing. It warms my heart."
Savard claimed Canada`s second swimming gold of the Games as she edged out England`s Siobhan O`Connor by just five hundredths of a second.
Australia`s Emma McKeon added to her two golds from Thursday with a bronze in third, but Alicia Coutts missed out on her sixth Commonwealth Games medal as she finished fourth.
In the night`s semi-finals, Francesca Halsall threw down the gauntlet to Australia`s Cate Campbell by qualifying for the women`s 50m butterfly final in a new Games record of 24.14
It was the fourth time on Friday the Games record had gone as just minutes before Campbell had set a new mark of 24:17sec in the first heat.
England`s Adam Peaty broke the Commonwealth Games record in a time of 59:16sec in qualifying fastest for the men`s 100m breaststroke final.
Murdoch continued his fine meet after winning 200m breaststroke gold by registering the second fastest time ahead of Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh.
However, there was more disappointment for world champion Christian Sprenger and home favourite Michael Jamieson and as they both failed to qualify for the final.
Meanwhile, Australia`s Emily Seebohm continued her quest to retain the women`s 100m backstroke title as she qualified fastest for Saturday`s final ahead of Wales` Georgia Davies and Sinead Russell of Canada.