Crash and JMo take on the GC – Day 210:51
The Courier Mail’s Robert ‘Crash’ Craddock and Sydney Confidential’s Jonathan ‘JMo’ Moran talk about all the action from overnight with world records being smashed in the pool and velodrome.
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IN Rio he was the boy who stormed from the shadows but Kyle Chalmers now stands alone, unchallenged as the new king of Australian swimming.
Chalmers won two gold medals in just over two last hours night, in an evening which saw rain pelt down on the open-air pool and gold medals rain down on Australia’s swimmers, cyclists and an inspirational weightlifter who powered through grief.
By the end, Australians had collected nine gold, with Chalmers shining among the field of champions.
Pool great Kieren Perkins said this Games needed a male star to stand up as the new pin-up boy and leader of the sport and Chalmers’ two gold medals in last night’s swimming program proved he is the man.
Patient, calculating and precise, 19-year-old Chalmers coolly sat back and let South Africa’s spring- loaded Chad le Clos tear away to an early lead in the 200m freestyle but it was the Australian who had the in-built propeller when it mattered.
Commonwealth Games gold medals do not have Olympic lustre but in some ways they are equally meritorious for Chalmers who was rocked by his sudden fame after Rio — but seems to have returned even stronger.
The 200m is supposed to be Chalmers back-up event behind his Olympic gold-medal winning 100m but he is showing world class potential that could have him juggling his priorities at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
For all of his potential he still talks about the race as if it is an experiment even though last night’s win had veteran observers comparing his final withering surge to the once incomparable Ian Thorpe as Australia won six of nine pool golds.
“It is a fun race, I still have to have practice how to swim the race,’’ Chalmers said after pipping his close friend and fellow Rio gold medallist Mack Horton.
“We had a plan and we stuck to it. I knew they would go out hard but it gave me a lot of confidence to be strong in the last 50m.’’
Chalmers and teammates Cameron McEvoy, James Magnussen and Jack Cartwright also swept to an expected win in the 4 x 100m freestyle, Mitch Larkin won the 100m backstroke and the serene Emma McKeon headed an Australian trifecta in the 100m butterfly.
Australia had another bountiful day which included Queensland’s Tia-Clair Toomey delivering her promise to salute the memory of her late cousin by with an emotional weightlifting gold medal win.
Toomey said before the Games that her campaign would be dedicated to her cousin Jade Dixson who died last Tuesday when a car in which she was a passenger collided with a tree near Nambour just days before she was due to attend the Games to watch Toomey.
Toomey, who last year became the first Australian winner of the CrossFit Games, received raucous crowd support when she quick-stepped to the stage with withering intent to claim the 58kg title at the Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre.
Toomey lifted 114kg with her third and final attempt in the clean and jerk to pip Canadian Tali Darsigny and bring the house down before declaring “this is for her.’’
Australia’s in-form cyclists delivered more gold with Stephanie Morton a comfortable winner of the women’s sprint in a victory which gave Australia its 100 Games cycling gold before Matthew Glaetzer defended his Games Keirin title.
Originally published as Chalmers crowned new king of swimming on golden night