Day 5 was certainly a golden day in the pool for Australia, with five gold medals, five silver and six bronze bumping Australia’s medal tally up to a whopping 106. We caught the heat action during the day, where every single Australian swimmer who competed in a heat or semi-final, qualified through to the next round.
Finals saw some of our biggest races (and even an upset or two). In both the Men’s 200m Backstroke and Women’s 800m Freestyle, the Australians took out Gold, Silver and Bronze. (Men: Mitch Larkin, Gold. Brad Woodward, Silver. Josh Beaver, Bronze.) Ariarne Titmus lived up to every bit of the hype with her Gold-medal-winning swim in the Women’s 800m Freestyle, with Jessica Ashwood and Kiah Melverton – Gold Coast – making up the trifecta.
Matt Levy smashed the Men’s S7 50m Freestyle to take home the Gold, while Paige Leonhardt and Madeleine Scott owned the Silver and Bronze in the Women’s SB9 100m Breaststroke. Georgia Bohl – a Gold Coast local – faced a tough crowd in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke but managed to hang onto the Bronze, while the Women’s 200m Butterfly saw Laura Taylor and Gold Coast swimmer Emma McKeon take Silver and Bronze respectively. Our final Gold and Silver for the night came in the form of swimming superstar sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell, who slayed in the Women’s 100m Freestyle final, followed by Gold Coast’s own Grant Irvine taking the Bronze in the Men’s 100m Butterfly.
Swimming words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Nadia Achilles.
As always, athletics were a slightly different story to the swimming, medal-wise for Australia. However that didn’t stop our team from putting on some truly spectacular performances. The evening began on a high, with Evan O’Hanlon easily taking out the Gold in Men’s T38 100m Finals in an impressive 11.09. Young Samuel Walker took out sixth in 11.8, a great show for the fifteen year old who clearly has a promising athletics career ahead. O’Hanlon, now a six-time Commonwealth Gold medallist and six-time Paralympic Gold medallist, brought tears to our eyes when he picked up his newborn from the crowd for an emotional embrace following his win.
Our decathlon athletes Kyle Cranston and Brisbanite Cedric Dubler reached the end of the night (the halfway point of the punishing event) in 8th and 4th position respectively. Dubler bumped up with a strong showing on the highjump, managing 2.04 before being knocked out and coming second in his 400m heat. Depending on the results of tomorrow’s hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m, he could well be within medal contention. However Cranston is not out yet!
The Women’s 1500m heats saw both Georgia Griffith and Linden Hall go through, in second and third spots in their respective heats, Griffith with a PB. Zoe Buckman failed to qualify, while in the men’s 400m, Steven Solomon came third in his semi and had to wait for times before we knew if he would qualify for the final, which he did easily with a time of 45.55.
Our women runners put in an epic effort in the 10,000m final. Celia Sullohern stayed with the front of the pack until the last round when even the roaring crowd on its feet couldn’t push her past the enormous effort she had already expended. She came first of the Australian runners, in a very respectable sixth place at 31:50.75, a PB for her. Madeline Hills was not far behind in eighth position at 32:01.04, while Eloise Wellings showed an enormous amount of heart in her race, coming in sixteenth.
Damien Birkinhead put in a strong performance in the shotput, but ultimately was out-thrown and came in fifth with a 20.6.
The women’s finals saw Trinidad and Tobego take out their first Gold medal for the Games and first ever in this event, with a spectacular win by Michelle-Lee Ayhe, and the greatest upset of the night was Akani Simbine leading home South African teammate Henricho Bruintjies to win gold in the men’s 100 metres final, relegating second fastest man in the world Jamaica’s Yohan Blake to the bronze.
Athletics words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Danny Santangelo.