Girls sweep the pool on final night
Tonight was a typical night in the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre pool for the Aussie girls: three gold
medals from three, a silver and a bronze to take the girls’ final tally from these games to 37 medals –
seemingly more metal than BHP could mine in a year.
Jessicah Schipper, Stephanie Rice and the women’s 4x100m medley relay team all took gold with the relay
team smashing the world record by over a second and a half.
With all four of the Australian medley relay team having won their respective 100m events, it was always
going to be a case of Australia by how much.
But after the backstroke leg it was a New Zealander, Hannah McLean, taking the field through at world
record pace, not Australian Sophie Edington.
In jumped Leisel Jones for the breaststroke leg, and by the time she had swum her measure the girls were a
second under the world record and the gold was all but assured.
Jones told SportsAustralia.com that her achievements outweighed her expectations coming into the Games.
“Coming into this meet, I didn’t expect four gold – I’ve exceeded my expectations, so I was really happy
She also said how hard it is to make the medley relay team: “It’s funny to think you actually have to win
gold medals in your events to even be a part of this team; we’re all gold medal winner and it’s pretty
Next up was Schipper – fresh from winning the 200m butterfly earlier in the night – who put more than two
body lengths between herself and the second place English by the time she had finished her butterfly leg.
Schipper handed over to 100m freestyle champion Libby Lenton, who tore through the final 100m to give
Australia the gold and to break the world record, with England taking silver eight seconds behind the Aussies
and Canada claiming bronze just ahead of New Zealand.
That win capped off a golden night in the pool, with Schipper setting a new Games record of two minutes and
6.09 seconds in her women’s 200m butterfly victory.
She claimed her second individual gold of the Games as she dismantled the opposition and came within a
whisker of breaking the world record.
Schipper took control from the start, and was ahead of the world mark at every turn, but faded slightly in
the last leg to miss the record.
Felicity Galvez finished took out the silver medal to make it a double for the hosts, with Englishwoman
Terri Dunning finishing third.
Emerging superstar Rice also earned her second gold medal of the Games, taking out the women’s 400m
individual medley in a Games record of four minutes and 41.91 seconds.
She led all the way and won by almost three seconds, with England’s Rebecca Cooke touching out Australian
Jennifer Reilly for silver.
Just making the Games team was an achievement for the 17-year-old Queenslander, let alone winning both the
“I never really thought about a medal because I was just so amazed to even make the Commonwealth Games
team,” an animated Rice said.
“I was just so excited to be on the team, so to win two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games… I’m just so
excited and so happy.”
• Have a view on this story? Send us your feedback!