Aussie women relayers set world record

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Steve Larkin and Roger Vaughan / AAP News

Australia has set a world record in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay to win Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham.

The relayers – Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus – broke China’s landmark time of last year.

The Australians clocked seven minutes 39.29 seconds, bettering China’s mark of 7:40.33.

The stunning relay feat came after compatriot Emma McKeon became the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history.

McKeon captured the 11th gold medal of her storied Commonwealth Games career by winning the 50m freestyle on Sunday night.

The Wollongong wonder eclipses the previous record for most Commonwealth golds – 10 – by Australian swimmers Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones.

“It’s really nice to be mentioned alongside some of those names and I will be part of that history for years to come, hopefully,” McKeon said.

“They’re the ones who inspired me when I was young. I remember watching them on TV and that lit the fire in me to be where I am now.”

But self-pride doesn’t come easy for the introverted McKeon, whose parents and brother both also swam for Australia at Commonwealth Games.

“I find it hard to be proud of myself at times,” she said.

“That’s something I’ve struggled with along the way.”

McKeon’s landmark was among three more gold medals, four silver and three bronze collected by Australia’s swim team on Sunday night.

Women’s 100m backstroke world record holder Kaylee McKeown won her pet event to join the relayers and McKeon with Sunday night golds.

Zac Stubblety-Cook (men’s 100m breaststroke), Meg Harris (women’s 50m freestyle) Jenna Strauch (women’s 200m breaststroke) and Tim Hodge (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) secured silvers.

Shayna Jack (women’s 50m freestyle), Blake Cochrane (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) and Sam Williamson (men’s 100m breaststroke) bagged bronzes.

And Kyle Chalmers, after saying in the morning he felt like flying home amid dry-land controversy, figuratively flew home in the men’s 100m semi-finals.

After blasting the false reporting of a supposed love triangle involving his ex-partner McKeon and her new flame Cody Simpson, Chalmers clocked the second-fastest time 100m free time this year to be quickest into Monday’s final.

Like Chalmers, McKeon also shut out the media storm in an Australian sweep in her milestone medal race with Harris and Jack.

“It is special,” McKeon said.

“It makes me reflect on the last eight years since my first Commonwealth Games.

“I can see how far I’ve come as a person and an athlete.”

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