Australian Emma McKeown is the most successful female athlete in Commonwealth Games history after winning the gold in the 50m freestyle in Birmingham.
Ajiba Wollongong won the 11th gold medal of her career at the Commonwealth Games with a win on Sunday night.
McKeown broke the previous record for most Commonwealth golds – 10 – for Australian swimmers Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Liesl Jones.
“It’s really nice to be mentioned along with some of these names, and I hope to be a part of that history for years to come,” McKeown said.
“They are the ones who inspired me when I was young. I remember watching them on TV and it kindled the fire inside me to be where I am now.”
McKeown is following her 50m freestyle after her previous victories in Birmingham in the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay and 4×100 freestyle relay.
The 28-year-old won four gold medals at both the 2018 Gold Coast Games and the 2014 edition in Glasgow.
“It’s special,” she said. “It makes me reflect on the past eight years since my first Commonwealth Games.”
“I can see how far I have progressed as a person and as an athlete.
McKeon has a chance to add more gold to his Birmingham tally with an expectation to swim in four more events – about 50 minutes before her record-breaking freestyle, she was the fastest qualifier for the 50m butterfly final.
McKeown is also Australia’s most decorated Olympian with 11 medals – five gold, two silver and four bronze.
Madison Wilson, Shayna Jack, Molly O’Callaghan and Emma McKeown of Team Australia pose for photos after winning the gold medal in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay final on day two of the 22nd Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatics Center in Birmingham, England, Saturday, 30 July 2022. source: AAP / Hunt Diving / AAPIMAGE
The famous Commonwealth gold in the 50-meter freestyle came in the Australian medal sweep with Meg Harris taking silver and Chyna Jack taking bronze.
McKeown outpaced her Australian teammates in 23.99 seconds with a quick-finishing Harris (24.32) beating Jack (24.36) to win the silver.
Also on Sunday night, Gina Strauch (women’s 200m breaststroke) and Tim Hodge (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) added silver to the Australian medal tally.
Hodge’s teammate Blake Cochran took the bronze in the final, which was won by New Zealander Josh Wilmer.
Kyle Chalmers rose to the level of controversy outside of pool to be the fastest qualifier for the men’s 100m freestyle final, with fellow Australians William Young (third) and Zach Incerty (eighth) also making it to the medal race.
Australia’s Boyne Gauff finished fourth, and Brendon Smith was last in the men’s 200m butterfly final, which was won by another Kiwi, Lewis Clareport.