Day 6 saw the final night of swimming at the Aquatic Centre which – unsurprisingly – was dominated by Australia. Our team took out 13 of the 27 available medals, keeping Australia’s medal win-to-total ratio around 50%. Seventeen-year old Ariarne Titmus again stepped up to the plate with an easy win in the Women’s 400m freestyle, setting a new Games Record of 4:00.93 in the process. The Men’s 50m freestyle was the only event of the meet in which Australia did not win a Gold medal, with Gold Coaster Cameron McEvoy taking out the Bronze. Emily Seebohm continued her amazing meet with a Gold in the Women’s 50m backstroke, while Mitch Larkin – also in a Games Record – won his fourth Gold medal for the Games in the Men’s Individual 200m medley as Clyde Lewis snared the Bronze.
The Women’s S8 50m freestyle saw favourite Lakeisha Patterson smoke the field in a 31.41 Gold medal swim, and Australia earned yet another clean sweep when Brenden Hall, Timothy Hodge and Logan Powell took Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively in their Men’s S9 100m backstroke.
The three big races were last, and Australia shone. The punishing Men’s 1500m freestyle was led early by Brisbane swimmer Jack McLoughlin who managed to increase his lead throughout and hang on for the Gold at 14:47.09, despite a gutsy last lap effort by Welshman Daniel Jervis, who managed to grab the Silver. An exhausted Mack Horton nabbed the Bronze in 14.51.05, nearly four seconds longer than his qualifying time.
Finally the Women’s and Men’s 4 x 100m medleys had the entire crowd on their feet, screaming as both Australian freestyle swimmers (Bronte Campbell and Kyle Chalmers) pushed from behind in the final lap to just get the touch in for Gold at the last second. Nail biting stuff. Despite her massive week, Backstroker Emily Seebohm had Australia in the lead from the first, while Georgia Bohl and Emma McKeon held on hard during their swims, netting the top spot for Australian women in a Games Record time of 3:54.36. Mitch Larkin, Jake Packard and Grant Irvine all swam their hearts out prior to Chalmers, in a mammoth team effort which also set a new Games Record of 3:31.04 for the men. In total, Australia won 28 of its 52 Gold medals in the pool.
Swimming words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Nadia Achilles.
With four sets of medals up for grabs in two women’s and two men’s divisions, Para Powerlifting promised excitement.
In the Men’s Lightweight division, it’s the Nigerians who dominated the competition, beginning when 50.6kg Roland Ezuruike’s lift of 188kg took him straight to first place. Fellow countryman Paul Kehinde followed, lifting 221kg to equal his under 65kg world record set at the Para Powerlifting World Cup in February. Roland Ezuruike’s second successful lift of 194kg gave him Nigeria’s first gold medal of GC2018, Kehinde taking silver.
England’s Ali Jawad, 2014 world champion and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallist, scored bronze. Australia’s Nang Nguyen placed eighth.
More excitement was to come, with Esther Oyema breaking her own world record of 126kg to lift 131kg for the Women’s Lightweight division gold medal, fellow Nigerian Lucy Ejike taking silver and England’s Zoe Newson scoring bronze. Australia’s Kelly Cartwright earned 7th place.
Powerlifting words and image by Marj Osborne.
It was a full day of track and field in the Carrara Stadium, often with two events running simultaneously.
Heats in the Women’s 200m saw three Australians advance to tomorrow’s semi-finals: Maddie Coates, Gold Coaster Riley Day and Larissa Pasternatsky, their goal being to represent Australia in the finals amongst stiff competition.
There was only one Australian athlete in the Men’s 200m, three times Australian champion Alex Hartmann, who placed second in his heat, promising more in the semi-final tomorrow night.
“Being the only Aussie to represent Australia in this distance – I don’t know how to explain it – it’s an honour,” Hartmann told media.
Luke Mathews was the only one of four Australian competitors to qualify through to the next round of the Men’s 800m, while Henry Frayne qualified first through to Men’s Long Jump finals with a whopping PB of 8.34.
Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer, Glasgow gold medallist, who cruised in with a time of 20.78, said of his performance: “I’m just taking it step by step to conserve some energy for the semifinal tomorrow. As the defending champion I felt comfortable, even though it was a quick heat. I’m feeling that I have more to give in the final.”
Athletics words by Marj Osborne and Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Marj Osborne.
Nightime at Carrara Stadium saw a handful of athletics medals go to Australia beginning with a Bronze for Nicholas Hough in the Men’s 100m hurdles, followed by a Gold (Madison de Rozario) and Bronze (Angela Ballard) in the Women’s T54 1500m. Crowd favourite Kurt Fearnley took home Silver in the men’s T54 1500m, followed closesly by fellow Aussie Jake Lappin in Bronze medal position. Our Aussie girls flexed their muscles in the Women’s Hammer Throw, with Alexandra Hulley and Lara Nielsen taking Silver and Bronze respectively in the final, while following a lengthy and exhilarating competition, Cedric Dubler was glad to don the Bronze for the Men’s Decathlon event.
Night athletics words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Danny Santangelo.
We quickly stopped in at the Boxing to catch Gold Coaster Skye Nicolson take on Cameroon fighter Christelle Aurore Ndiang in an extremely close match that saw our hometown girl make it through to the semi-final in three rounds. Friday night will see her up against Canadian Sabrina Aubin-Boucher.
Boxing images by Nadia Achilles.