Leisel stars on Australia's biggest day - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leisel stars on Australia's biggest day

By Paul Mulvey 20/03/2006 11:38:51 PM Comments (0)

Leisel Jones became the star performer of the Commonwealth Games on Monday, smashing the first world record of Melbourne 2006 as Australia's women again dominated in the pool.

Jones won her third gold medal of the Games when she slashed 0.62 seconds off her own mark for the 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:05.09sec.

The title completed the breaststroke treble for the Queensland teenager after she took gold in the 50m and 200m.

"I screamed when I had the time. It's been pretty amazing and I'm pretty shocked with the time," Jones said.

"My goal was definitely to go out and get the world record."

While Jones was the headline act, 5000m runner Craig Mottram came so close with a gallant silver.

Roared on by an MCG crowd of 80,000, the world championships bronze medallist could not cope with the kick of Kenyan Augustine Choge who raced away over the final 200m to win in a Games record of 12:56.41.

But it was Jones and her girlfriends who dominated Australia's biggest day of the Games, on which the home nation won 14 gold medals to take their total of 42.

They again embarrassed the Australian men - with the exception of dual gold medallist Matthew Cowdrey in the EAD events - taking five gold, including two clean sweeps.

They have now won 13 gold medals for the Games, while the able-bodied men have yet to score.

Libby Lenton won two golds for the night to bring her personal collection to four, claiming the women's 50m freestyle and spearheading the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Her 50m victory was the first of the Australian hat-tricks in the pool, with Jodie Henry claiming silver and Alice Mills bronze.

Sophie Edington won the 50m backstroke and topped another all-Australian dais with Giaan Rooney second and Tayliah Zimmer third.

Joanna Fargus announced her arrival into the Australian team in style, winning the 200m backstroke less than two months after gaining citizenship.

Hong Kong born Fargus set a Games record of 2:10.36, improving on the silver she won at the 2002 Manchester Games when competing for England.

The pool hosted two of four Australian clean sweeps on day five.

Nathan Deakes and Jane Saville opened the day by leading Australia's complete domination of the men's and women's 20km walks.

For opening ceremony flag bearer Saville, her third Commonwealth gold medal capped a memorable week.

"It's been a lovely week for me," she said.

"Once I was allowed to carry the flag I thought 'geez, I had better go well in the race now'."

And so she did, maintaining a record that shows the Australian flagbearer has gone on to win a gold medal in all but one Commonwealth Games.

She won in 1:32:46, passing advice on the course to little sister Natalie who took the silver while Cheryl Webb claimed bronze.

Australia's dominance of Commonwealth walking was reinforced a few hours later in Melbourne's Docklands when Deakes came home ahead of teammates Luke Adams and Jared Tallent.

Such is Australia's control over the maligned event, Saville said anything less than six medals would have been a let down.

"It's great for walking in Australia but if we didn't get that we would have been very disappointed," Saville said.

Deakes defends his 50km title on Friday so claimed his "job is only half done."

Natalie Grinham won the family battle for gold on the squash court, beating older sister and former world No.1 Rachael 2-9 9-6 9-1 9-6.

"It's just great," Natalie said.

"It's always very difficult to play Rachael, especially because she's my sister, but I was just thinking about making her tired."

Men's world No.1 David Palmer couldn't make it an Australian squash double, losing the final to England's Peter Nicol.

Gymnast Josh Jefferis won his second gold when he triumphed on the rings, to follow his all around gold medal last week.

Adelaide primary school teacher Brooke Krueger-Billett won the hammer throw with a 67.90m throw, while at the Melbourne Gun Club, Lauryn Mark and Natalia Rahman successfully defended their skeet pairs championship.

Australia won two golds in EAD competition, with Cowdrey winning the 100m freestyle and athlete Elizabeth McIntosh taking out the 100m sprint.

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