Sports

Take pride, England

Unfancied men
pip Australia in 4x100m relay

BIG ROAR: (From left) England's Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty and Adam Barrett celebrating as Adam Brown touches home first to win the men's 4x100m freestyle. 

CANDID: (From left) Australia's Cate Campbell, Emma McKeon, Lorna Tonks and Emily Seebohm having a light moment after winning the women's 4x100m medley relay.

England inflicted Australia's first relay defeat at the Commonwealth Games in eight years as they claimed gold in the men's 4x100m freestyle yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The team of Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Adam Barrett and Adam Brown came home in a Games record time of 3min 31:51sec to claim England's 10th gold medal of the meet.

It was the first time in 64 years that an English team had beaten Australia in a senior meet.

However, their good work through 300m was very nearly undone by 100m freestyle world champion James Magnussen's sensational final leg for Australia.

"I knew I was going against the fastest guy in the world right now in Magnussen, so I just dug in deep that last 50m and luckily held on to get the win for these guys," said Brown.

"It is unbelievable and it is still a pretty young team as well, so I am looking forward to the next couple of years with these guys."

Despite coming up just short, Australia still won 19 golds in the pool in Glasgow and recorded their best medal haul at a Commonwealth Games with 57.

The Australian swim team head into next month's showdown with the United States at the Pan Pacific Championships with confidence after recovering from a disastrous Olympic campaign in London two years ago, when they won just one gold medal.

The highlight of the Aussies' performance was in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay, when the quartet broke the world record in the final, eclipsing one of the marks set during the "supersuit" frenzy at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

Emma McKeon topped the individual tally for Australia with four gold and two bronze medals, while 100m freestyle world champion Cate Campbell won three golds and a silver. She also anchored the 4x100m freestyle team to their world record.

THE MISSILE

Two-time 100m freestyle world champion Magnussen, who finished second in London in the blue riband event behind American Nathan Adrian, also clinched two golds.

He held off young teammate Cameron McEvoy, who had beaten him at the nationals, in 48.11sec, the fourth-fastest time of the year.

The team's success came after stricter management in the aftermath of the London Games scandal of sleeping pill abuse and drunkenness.

They will have little time to celebrate, though. The swimmers will leave Glasgow soon, straight into camp on Australia's Gold Coast for the Aug 21-24 Pan Pacs. - Reuters.