Australia Titmus leads early Aussie swim charge

16:32  29 july  2022
16:32  29 july  2022 Source:   aap.com.au

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Weeks after barely being able to breath underwater, Ariarne Titmus is among the Australian swimmers laying ominous early markers at the Commonwealth Games.

Ariarne Titmus has made a flying start to her Commonwealth Games campaign. © Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS Ariarne Titmus has made a flying start to her Commonwealth Games campaign.

The Dolphins have dominated the opening swimming session in Birmingham - all 24 Australians in individual events advanced into their respective final or semi-finals.

And Australia's mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team topped qualifying ahead of an attempt to break their own world record in Friday night's final.

Titmus made a triumphant return after admitting she underestimated the fallout from catching COVID in early June.

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"I wasn't actually that sick when I had it," Titmus said.

"But coming back into training, holding my breath was really hard. I couldn't even make it past five metres underwater.

"It did knock me a bit. Definitely post being sick, it took me a few weeks to really feel like myself again."

The Olympic champion isn't underestimating the challenges from compatriots in the 200m freestyle - she was quickest through the heats but teammates Mollie O'Callaghan (second-best) and Madi Wilson (third-fastest) are on her tail.

Emma McKeon headed times in the 100m butterfly heats with teammates Brianna Throssell and Alex Perkins also into the semi-finals.

McKeon has eight career Commonwealth gold medals - she needs three more from her nine events in Birmingham to surpass the Australian record of 10 golds shared by Ian Thorpe, Susie O'Neill and Leisel Jones.

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Also on Friday at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Elijah Winnington, basking in a fresh inner glow from being the 400m freestyle world champion, cruised when third-fastest in the heats of the event.

"It gives you a massive confidence boost," Winnington said of winning at last month's world titles.

"Coming into tonight's final, none of the other boys I am standing up next to can say that they're the world champion from this year."

Mack Horton and Sam Short also breezed into the 400m freestyle final.

Australia's 200m breaststroke Olympic and world champion Zac Stubblety-Cook led times in his pet event and will be joined by fellow Aussie Matt Wilson in the final.

Kyle Chalmers was fastest in 50m butterfly heats with Matt Temple fifth-best and celebrity swimmer Cody Simpson 10th quickest and also into the semi-finals.

Three Aussies - Brad Woodward, Mitch Larkin and Joshua Edwards-Smith - advanced into the men's 100m backstroke semis, as did Chelsea Hodges and Abbey Harkin in the women's 50m breaststroke.

Australia's Kiah Melverton and Jenna Forrester secured swims in the 400m individual medley final and Australia's para-swimmers Ellie Cole, Emily Beecroft and Ashleigh McConnell progressed into the women's 100m freestyle S9 final.

Commonwealth Games 2022 medal tally: Ariarne Titmus wins 400m gold and Brandon Starc takes high jump silver .
Australia leads the medal tally with 46 gold medals at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games swimming program. See the latest medal tally here.Tomorrow, attention turns to track and field and team sports.

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