Australia's Leisel Jones chartered a new course in Commonwealth Games history while compatriot Yolane Kukla emerged as the youngest swimmer to win a gold medal at the multi-discipline quadrennial event here on Friday.
England's Liam Tancock retained the men's 100m backstroke title, teammate Rebecca Adlington completed a golden double by adding the 400m freestyle gold medal to the 800m title, Australia's comeback king Geoff Huegill took his third 100m butterfly title after a gap of four years and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh's brilliant burst saw him win the men's 50m breaststroke.
The 25-year-old Jones, by winning the 100m breaststroke title with ease, entered into a territory of her own by completing a golden double in two events over three successive Games, an accomplishment achieved for the first time ever.
She raced into the record books by surging ahead in the initial stages of the two-lapper, much like the manner in which she had won the 200m gold medal on Wednesday.
Having won both the titles in 2002 (Manchester) and in 2006 (Melbourne), the repeat found the genial Olympic champion and former World record holder in high spirits.
“The double-treble, yeah, it is the first time it has happened. But I never knew that it is the first ever achievement of this sort in the history of the Games itself. I am glad. This is the business end now.
“London (2012) Olympic Games is now the focus. The 100m is a good distance for my stroke. Now, it is the turn to focus on tomorrow's medley relay.”
This was Jones' ninth gold medal over three Games and she now stands a chance to equal Susan O'Neil's and Ian Thorpe's record haul of ten gold medals each on Saturday, should the Australian quartet win the 400m medley relay on Saturday.
Kukla, who hit headlines earlier this year by becoming the youngest swimmer after Thorpe to make it to the Australian team for these Games, did her growing reputation a world of good as she won the 50m freestyle title from a classy field by returning at 24.86s ahead of English hopeful Fran Halsall (24.98s) and New Zealand's Haley Palmer (25.01s).
At 15 years and nine days, Kukla thus also became the youngest swimmer to win a gold medal at the Games this century by putting to shade compatriot Alice Mills' record of 16 years and 72 days at Manchester in 2002.
The Indians, who found themselves rather lucky to have team captain Sandeep Sejwal race in the 50m breaststroke final as a replacement for Wales' Robert Holderness (who scratched himself from the final at the last-minute) were, however, left to savour the crumbs.
Sejwal, despite the breakthrough, could hardly make any impact finishing last in the race at 28.85s, while the women's 400m freestyle relay quartet too failed miserably finishing last at 4:02.55 against Australia's winning time of 3:36.36!
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010