(Australian Associated Press)
Ariarne Titmus collected her third gold medal, Mitch Larkin his fifth and Australia its 50th as the swimmers and the country have overwhelmed allcomers at the Commonwealth Games.
With five days of competition still to come, Australia has already surpassed its tally of 49 gold medals from Glasgow four years ago.
The swimmers have made the most of a home pool, accounting for 28 of Australia’s gold, including seven medal cleansweeps.
Together with cycling’s 12 gold so far, the two sports make up 80 per cent of the team’s total haul which has it well clear on top of the medal table from England on 24.
Advance Australia Fair was on a loop on another hectic final night at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Tuesday on which the host nation picked up eight gold medals.
Titmus, 17, swam the sixth fastest 400m freestyle in history to win the gold, collect the prestigious 400m-800m double and affirm her status as the future of Australian swimming.
“I didn’t expect myself to be in this position. And to be Commonwealth champion, I haven’t really let that sink in,” she said.
“I am sad I have to go back to school after this. I am still a normal person. I have worked hard for this and I am glad it has paid off.”
Triple backstroke champion Larkin extended his repertoire to the 200m individual medley, while his girlfriend Emily Seebohm won the 50m backstroke.
Jack McLoughlin took the 1500m freestyle while thrilling gold medals for the men’s and women’s medley relays took Australia’s stake from the six days of swimming to 28 out of 50 gold medals available.
Appropriately, the day started with double cycling gold in the time trials to Cameron Meyer and Katrin Garfoot at Currumbin.
A nine-time world champion on the track, Meyer returned to the road with instant success as he dominated the hills and heat of the 38.5km Currumbin road circuit, finishing in 48 minutes 13.04 seconds.
German-born, but now Gold Coast local, Garfoot looked at home on the course and was equally dominant in the women’s 25.5km race, winning in a time of 35:08.09, nearly a minute ahead of New Zealand’s defending champion Linda Villumsen.
Meyer acknowledged the impetus Australia’s massive medal count gives all competitors.
“There’s so much motivation going around after the first week with other athletes winning gold,” said Meyer.
With swimming finished and only four more medal events to come in cycling, the host nation will have to turn to other sports to retain its dominance, with big hopes for the team events and athletics.
Wheelchair great Kurt Fearnley bowed out of track athletics with a silver medal in the 1500m at Carrara Stadium, with his final act to come in the marathon on Sunday.
“That’s done, that’s absolutely everything that I had,” Fearnley said.
Long jumper Henry Frayne smashed the Games record in the qualifying round on Tuesday with a leap of 8.34m, while teenager Joseph Deng and Luke Mathews qualified in impressive style for the men’s 800m final.
Meantime, shooter Elena Galiabovitch won her second medal of the Games with silver in the women’s 25m pistol.
Australia is guaranteed some more boxing bronze medals, at least, after Skye Nicolson in the 57kg division and 91kg fighter Jason Whateley both moved into the semi-finals.