WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
October 8, 2010
Reigning Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington of England broke the 14-year-old meet record in the 400-meter freestyle Friday at the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
Adlington won her second event of the Games in 4:05.68, breaking the previous mark of 4:07.68 set in 1986 by England’s Sarah Hardcastle.
Adlington, ranked second in the world in a career-best 4:04.55, was one of the few bright spots for England as Australia continued its domination in the pool.
Australia’s Kylie Palmer took silver in 4:07.85 and Wales’ Jazmin Carlin grabbed bronze in 4:08.22.
In other Friday championship events at the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex in Talkatore Gardens:
Aussie Olympic gold medalist Leisel Jones became the first woman to win the 100 and 200 breaststroke events in three consecutive Commonwealth Games when she won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.84.
Jones is ranked second in the world in the event in 1:05.66.
Aussie teammate Samantha Marshall took silver in 1:07.97 and England’s Kate Haywood took bronze in 1:08.29.
In the women’s 50-meter freestyle, Aussie Yolane Kukla became only the second 15-year-old to win a gold medal at the Games. Ian Thorpe was the first.
Kukla won the event in 24.86, just off her career-best of 24.74. England’s Fran Halsall, coming back from Delhi Belly, took silver in 24.98 and New Zealand’s Hayley Palmer took bronze in 25.01.
The Aussies continued their domination in the women’s 200-meter backstroke final with Meagan Nay winning gold in a meet record 2:07.56 and moving into third place in the world rankings.
It was an emotional victory for Nay whose brother Amos was killed in a car accident last year. Her father, Robert, a 1972 Olympian, had also died in a car accident when she was 4.
“I knew that my dad and my brother were definitely pushing me through that,” Nay said. “This is a dream come true. It’s kind of proof that you can come out the other side.”
England’s Elizabeth Simmonds took silver in 2:07.90 and Aussie Emily Seebohm took bronze in 2:08.38.
Aussie world record holder Sophie Edington won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 28.00, breaking Seebohm’s record of 28.03 she set in Thursday’s semifinals. England’s Gemma Spofforth took silver in 28.03. Seebohm and Wales’ Georgia Davies tied for the bronze medal in 28.33.
Australia won the 400-yard freestyle relay in a meet record 3:36.36 with Alicia Coutts, Marieke Guehrer, Felicity Galvez and Seebohm. Canada lost the silver when it was disqualified for early takeoff. England moved into second and New Zealand was third.
Coutts now has four gold medals and Seebohm two golds, two silvers and two bronzes.
The Australian men won their share of gold as well.
Aussie Geoff Huegill won his third 100-meter butterfly Commonwealth Games gold medal, breaking his own meet record and completing an amazing comeback that began more than a year ago when he battled depression and weight problems.
Huegill, 31, won in a career-best 51.69, lowering his meet record of 52.36. It is the second fastest time this year behind Michael Phelps and was his sixth gold medal of his career.
Olympian Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea and Antony James of England tied for the silver medal in 52.50. Aussie Christopher Wright and Jason Dunford tied for fourth in 52.66.
World record holder Cameron Van der Burgh of South Africa swam a world best time of 27.18 to win the 50-meter breaststroke. Aussie’s Brenton Rickard and New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders tied for the silver medal in 27.67.
In the men’s 100-meter backstroke, England’s Liam Tancock defended his title in a meet record 53.59 to win his second gold medal of the Games. He also won the 50 backstroke.
New Zealand’s Daniel Bell took silver in 54.43 and Aussie Ashley Delaney took bronze in 54.51. Delany won bronze medals in all three backstroke events.
James Goddard of England became the first swimmer to dip under 2 minutes in the 200-meter individual medley in a meet record 1:58.10. Teammate Joseph Roebuck was second in 1:59.86 and Aussie Leith Brodie was third in 2:00.00.
In other Commonwealth Games news, federation chief Mike Fennell said after extensive testing on all three swimming pools being used during the Games show no problems with water quality. Tests were conducted at the village, practice and competition pools. Doctors said the illness may have been caused by “a number of things.”
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org