Australia has risen quickly to the top of the metal tally ranks on day four of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with wins recorded across the pool, track, velodrome and field.
Swimmer James Magnussen reclaimed his mantle after losing at this year’s national titles, taking gold in the 100m men’s freestyle, leading a trifecta of Australian winners with teammates Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D’Orsogna finishing second and third. In the race immediately prior, Belinda Hocking took gold in the women’s 200m backstroke, just ahead of Emily Seebohm.
Marathon runner Michael Shelley pulled off an unexpected victory in the men’s marathon, powering towards the gold medal in a new personal best time of two hours, 11 minutes and 15 seconds and claimed Australia’s first win in the men’s Commonwealth Games marathon since Steve Moneghetti in 1994.
Meanwhile in the women’s marathon, Jess Trengove secured bronze in the long-distance running event, finishing behind Kenyan pair Flomena Daniel and Caroline Kilel.
Over in the velodrome, 23-year-old Australian cyclist Stephanie Morton defeated reigning track champion and teammate Anna Meares to win gold in the women’s sprint. Also sporting a new gold medal is 21-year-old cyclist Matthew Glaetzer, who finished first in the men’s keirin final, despite the commotion caused before the race when Scottish cyclist Chris Pritchard climbed the stands and proposed to his girlfriend.
The Australian Rugby Sevens team won bronze at the Glasgow Games, defeating Samoa 24-0 in the third-place playoff. Later on day four, South Africa managed to bring an end to New Zealand’s 16-year dominance of the Rugby Sevens gold medal, staged a comeback to defeat the Kiwis 17-12.
Australia is now clear at the top of the medal tally, with a total of 73 medals including 26 gold, 21 silver and 26 bronze. They are trailed by England who have a total of 57 medals with 23 gold and the host nation, Scotland, who currently hold 30 medals, 11 of them gold.
Australia look strong to claim more wins on day five of the Games, with swimming superstar Cate Campbell set to hit the pool in the women’s 100m freestyle final. Gold medals are up for grabs in the lawn bowls men’s triples and pairs, squash singles, badminton, weightlifting, table tennis and shooting while world champion Kookaburras and world No.2 Hockeyroos – both undefeated – face South Africa and England respectively.