Australia’s biggest gun Emma McKeon has fired a final golden salute at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
McKeon won her sixth gold medal on the last night of competition at the Birmingham pool.
The dominant Dolphins collected 25 gold medals – three shy of the swim team’s best-ever Games haul four years ago – 20 silver and 20 bronze in Birmingham.
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Of the 52 finals, Australians won 25 of them. And they set the only two world records of the meet.
McKeon’s six gold medals equals the record for most golds at a single Games shared by fellow swim greats Susie O’Neill and Ian Thorpe.
And her eight overall medals in Birmingham equals O’Neill’s record for the most at a single Games.
McKeon had earlier broken the record for the career gold medals (14) and most career medals (20) at the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s more than I could have expected,” McKeon said.
On Wednesday night, McKeon helped Australia win the women’s 4x100m medley to put not a full stop, but an exclamation point on the Dolphins’ dominant campaign.
But Australia’s men’s 4x100m medley relay team was pipped by the Poms, propelled by a raucous parochial crowd.
England won by 0.08 seconds with Australia’s Kyle Chalmers touched out by Tom Dean.
“I gave it everything I possibly could,” said Chalmers, who ends his turbulent week with three gold medals and a silver.
“It would have been nice standing on top of the podium but it’s a good way to finish the week.”
Ariarne Titmus won the women’s 400m freestyle to complete a rare triple treat: freestyle gold over 200m, 400m and 800m.
All Titmus’ triumphs were in Commonwealth Games record times. And she was part of Australia’s 4x200m freestyle team that set a world record.
“Australia really prides itself on success in the pool at Commonwealth Games,” Titmus said.
“And potentially there’s more pressure to win here than at the Olympics sometimes because we’re so dominant.”
Titmus’ teammate Mollie O’Callaghan was on the 4×100 medley team and grabbed her fifth gold of the Games.
She also snared two silvers, morphing from rising to shooting star.
“It’s pretty epic … we all crushed it this week,” the 18-year-old schoolgirl said.
Kaylee McKeown, another on the medley relay team, leaves Birmingham with four gold, a silver and a bronze in her collection.
“It’s the way to end the competition … we’re all super-proud,” McKeown said.
Stalwart Madi Wilson also departs with four golds, all in relays; Elijah Winnington won three.
And Sam Short on Wednesday night swam onto an illustrious list of Australians, including his idol Kieren Perkins and Grant Hackett, to be Commonwealth 1500m freestyle champion
“It’s an extremely rich history … I have a long way to get to their level but I’m on the right track,” he said.
© AAP 2022