The final night of swimming action sees England’s Ben Proud successfully defend his 50m freestyle title while Duncan Scott adds to his impressive Gold Coast medal tally.
- Busy final evening for Ben Proud as he wins 50m freestyle gold then joins the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team to take silver. Holly Hibbott and Eleanor Faulkner win silver and bronze for England
- Duncan Scott also rounds off a successful Games with 200m individual medley silver while Wales pick up a final three medals in the pool with 1500m silver for Dan Jervis, 50m backstroke bronze for Georgia Davies and bronze in the women’s 4x100m medley relay
- Melissa Courtney springs a surprise with 1500m bronze on the track on a tricky day for home nations athletes
- Home nations boxers guarantee a strong medal haul with a number of quarter-final wins, including for England twins Pat and Luke McCormack
- Scotland men remain unbeaten to reach the semi-finals of the men’s basketball
- Earlier success includes time trial cycling medals for England and shooting success for the home nations
Proud enters the history books
Ben Proud emulated the achievement of Mark Foster, while Duncan Scott experienced the joy of six at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the final evening of swimming action in the Gold Coast.
Proud came on strong in the second half of the race to storm to victory in the men’s 50m freestyle, ahead of South Africa’s Bradley Tandy and Australia’s Cameron McEvoy – retaining the title he won in Glasgow and joining Foster and South African great Roland Schoeman in winning back-to-back Commonwealth 50m freestyle crowns.
Foster accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1998, with Schoeman following suit in the subsequent two Games and Proud was ecstatic to add to the 4x100m freestyle silver he won earlier this week.
“I'm very pleased with that,” said Proud, who was the only non-Australian gold medallist in the pool on the final evening.
“Last night was about the time but that was all about the medal. I am very positive for the rest of the year. It's been a really special night.”
Scott has been the undoubted home nations star in the pool and he added a hard-fought silver medal in the men’s 200m individual medley to his 100m freestyle gold and bronzes in the 200m free, 200m butterfly, 4x100m free and 4x200m free – meaning he leaves Australia with six in total.
The five medals he accrued before Tuesday were already the most by any Scot in a single Commonwealth Games and he added the sixth thanks to a storming final 50m, coming from outside the medal places to nearly overhaul Australian winner Mitch Larkin.
And the 20-year-old claims he loved the final individual event of his Games experience, even if he was feeling the effects straight afterwards.
He said: “I couldn't really see what was going on and I was just battling! Mitch Larkin has done unbelievably well. That was his fourth gold – he is just untouchable.
“It was hard enough to swim in a straight line on the back stretch! It was exhausting. I enjoyed that but it was really tough.”
There was further success for England as Holly Hibbott and Ellie Faulkner took silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 400m freestyle final, while the 4x100m medley relay team of Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Proud were narrowly pipped at the wall by Australia in the final race of the evening.
And Welsh swimmers also climbed the podium as Dan Jervis timed his 1500m freestyle charge to perfection to take silver, Georgia Davies won 50m backstroke bronze and the women’s 4x100m medley relay team (Davies, Chloe Tutton, Alys Thomas and Kathryn Greenslade) also claimed bronze.
Courtney hits the big time
In terms of picking a time to put in the best performance of your life, then a Commonwealth Games final is not a bad place to start.
That’s what Welsh runner Melissa Courtney did, finishing the 1500m final as the highest-placed Brit in third.
Gold went to pre-race favourite Caster Semenya with Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech second, with Courtney holding off Australia’s Linden Hall for bronze in a personal-best time of 4:03.44 minutes.
That bettered seasoned campaigner Eilish McColgan who was sixth, followed by Scottish teammate Steph Twell in seventh as the best-finishing Brits.
“I couldn't believe how many Welsh fans there were out there,” said Courtney after a lap of the track afterwards. “It was great to see them all. The last two races I've done, I just raced really smart.
"I just focused on myself and didn't think about the rest of the race. I had no idea what the pace was, I just knew I had to keep going forwards."
Courtney aside, it was a largely disappointing night for the home nations athletes with world indoor champion and pre-race favourite Andrew Pozzi finishing the men’s 110m hurdles final in joint sixth after clattering a number of the barriers.
England’s John Lane was the highest Brit, in sixth, in the men’s decathlon while England’s Emily Diamond and Anyika Onuora and Scotland’s Zoey Clark failed to qualify for the 400m final.
Meanwhile Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon is willing to accept a little short-term pain for the long-term gain after crashing out of the hammer final.
The 27-year-old fouled all three of her attempts in the Carrara Stadium to exit the competition without registering a score.
“It just wasn’t quite there,” she said.
“I am working on a new technique and it is definitely going to be there, I have just got to keep working on it. It is definitely the way forward, I am going to throw much further off it.”
McCormack twins target gold
Boxing twins Pat and Luke McCormack like to do everything together - both winning silver at last year’s European Championships and both looking good for Commonwealth Games gold here.
The 22-year-olds won their quarter-finals with ease to guarantee they will return with a medal.
But nothing less than upgrading their silvers from last year’s Europeans will do for the Birtley Boxing Club pair.
Luke McCormack silenced a vocal Aussie home crowd as he dispatched home favourite Liam Wilson.
And his brother was equally clinical as he swatted away the challenge of tricky Uganda rival Musa Bwogi.
Wilson picked up a cut on his left eye during one ferocious exchange and McCormack’s speed and accuracy proved decisive in a niggly contest.
He will now fight Namibia’s Jonas Jonas for a place in this weekend’s finals on Friday.
“It’s a bronze medal but I’m not even bothered about bronze, I want the gold – nothing less,” he said. “The crowd was pretty noisy out there but I just wanted to shut them up.
“He said he remembered sparring me years ago but he won’t forget this now. I thought I boxed really well and I even got to showboat a bit, to remind the judges how easy I was finding it.”
A further four England boxers guaranteed themselves medals win Galal Yafai, Cheavon Clarke, Peter McGrail and Frazer Clarke also winning their quarter-finals.
There were also victories for Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh, Kurt Walker and Aidan Walsh.
Run goes on for Scottish basketball players
Scotland’s incredible run Down Under continued as they narrowly beat Nigeria to secure place in the semi-finals of the men’s basketball competition.
Having won all three of their previous group matches, they then beat Nigeria 66-61 to set up a last-four tie with Australia on Saturday.
England men were unable to repeat the trick, losing 97-79 to Canada although the women comfortably beat Jamaica 62-40 and will play Canada in Friday’s semi-final.
Harry Tanfield was determined not to be outshone by brother Charlie on the Gold Coast as he won silver in the men’s time trial. There was also bronze for England teammate Hayley Simmonds.
The home nations dominated locked out two shooting podiums on Tuesday, including gold for Welshman David Phelps on his birthday.
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Elsewhere on the Gold Coast
The doubles competitions got underway in the badminton and there was plenty of home nations success as English pair Chris Adcock and Ben Lane, along with Scots Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall, as well as Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh, all moved into the last 16.
Further Scottish success saw Eleanor O’Donnell and Julie MacPherson cruise into the last 16 of the women’s doubles, while Campbell and MacPherson won their opening mixed doubles contests, as did Dunn and O’Donnell.
English shuttler Chloe Birch is also full of confidence after dispatching Johanita Scholz of South Africa 21-5 21-8 to set up a tie with Jersey’s Elise Dixon in the last 32 of the women’s singles.
The men’s, women’s and mixed doubles squash got underway – with men’s singles champion James Willstrop of England teaming up with Declan James to ease past Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino.
In the preliminary stages of the table tennis singles competitions, the home nations shone as the likes of Wales’ Chloe Thomas, England’s Denise Payet, Scotland’s Craig Howieson and Northern Irish trio Ashley Robinson, Paul McCreery and Owen Catchart all recorded two victories from two games.
However, at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, Scotland women’s team suffered a 2-0 defeat to Australia to remain third in Pool B.
Wales’ search for a first netball victory of the Games goes on, as they lost 76-40 to Uganda, while the lawn bowls pairs and singles competition continued.
Coming up on day seven
After waiting patiently for their turn, the divers take to the boards on Wednesday with Jack Laugher aiming to successfully defend his 1m springboard title, while Alicia Blagg will look to defend her 3m synchro title, albeit with a different partner in Katherine Torrance.
In boxing, there are semi-final bouts for Northern Ireland’s Kristina O’Hara, England’s Sandy Ryan and Wales’ Rosie Eccles.
With Commonwealth Games bronze and silver medals from the double trap already in her collection, shooter Rachel Parish will be looking to complete the set on the Gold Coast, while 2014 silver medallist Matt French and two-time Commonwealth gold medallist Steve Scott are ones to watch in the men’s double trap.
At the athletics, London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz goes in the high jump looking to win a medal on his Commonwealth Games debut, while Scotland’s Lennie Waite and English duo Rosie Clarke and Iona Lake go in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
Meanwhile Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf take on Australians Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann in their beach volleyball semi-final and England and Wales’ rhythmic gymnasts go for medals in the team final.