Australia’s swimmers encountered resistance on the final day of competition in the pool at the Commonwealth Games, while the event was rocked by its first doping case.
Australia were hoping to confirm their dominance in the pool with a strong last-day showing, but they endured early disappointments at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
England’s Benjamin Proud beat Australia’s Cameron McEvoy and James Magnussen to the gold medal in the men’s 50m freestyle final, while New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle took the glory in the women’s 400m freestyle
Boyle beat Jazz Carlin into second place, a day after the Welsh swimmer’s triumph in the women’s 800m freestyle gold.
But Georgia Davies gave Wales fresh reason to cheer by prevailing in the 50m backstroke in a Commonwealth record time of 27.56 seconds, becoming only the third Welsh woman to win Commonwealth Games gold in the pool.
Daniel Tranter got Australia back on track in the men’s 200m individual medley, however, seeing off Scotland’s 400m individual medley champion Dan Wallace and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos in a Games-record time of 1min 57.83sec.
Australia were expecting further success in the relays later on Tuesday.
The Australians were fastest in the morning session in both the men’s and the women’s 4x100m medley relays, having previously taken gold in the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays.
However, South Africa were expected to challenge for top spot in the men’s event with butterfly specialist Le Clos to come into the team that qualified fifth fastest.
The doping case involved Nigerian weightlifter Chika Amalaha, who was provisionally suspended from the Games after testing positive in a drugs test taken after she won gold in the women’s 53kg category.
The 16-year-old provided an ‘A’ sample on July 25 that revealed traces of diuretics and masking agents, the Commonwealth Games Federation announced. She will have a ‘B’ sample tested at a laboratory in London on July 30.
In the athletics, Joyce Chepkiri produced a late burst to pip Kenyan compatriot Florence Kiplagat to glory in a gripping 10,000 metres, with Emily Chebet completing a Kenyan sweep of the podium.
Olympic champion and world record-holder David Rudisha of Kenya cruised into the semifinals of the men’s 800m after safely negotiating his heat.
“Today was all about qualifying for the second round tomorrow,” said Rudisha, whose staggering 800m run in just shy of 101 seconds was the stand-out performance on the track at the 2012 London Olympics.
Earlier on the track, the men’s 110m hurdles was blown wide open when England’s defending champion Andy Turner pulled up and Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment was a non-starter.
With Parchment failing to even make it to the start line, the field has now been opened up.
Jamaica’s Andrew Riley, Barbadian 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite and England’s William Sharman will all fancy their chances in the final at Hampden Park later on Tuesday.