BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Emma McKeon equalled Australia’s all-time record of 10 Commonwealth gold medals on Saturday (July 30) as Scotland’s Duncan Scott avenged his Olympic freestyle defeat at the hands of his friend Tom Dean.
McKeon came to Birmingham with eight golds in two previous editions of the Games – two behind fellow Australian swimmers Ian Thorpe, Susie O’Neill and Leisel Jones.
Two relay golds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre mean the 28-year-old, who won seven medals at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, is now level with her retired compatriots.
“It’s nice to do that 10th one in a relay,” she told Australia’s Channel 7. “It’s kind of all a bit of a blur, I guess. It’s been over a long time. I mean my first one was 2014 and I was so young.
“Looking back on who I was back then, I feel like I’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of what I’ve done but also proud of how I’ve grown as a person.”
McKeon missed out on an 11th gold on Saturday when she finished 0.02sec behind Olympic champion Margaret Mac Neil in the 100m butterfly, with the Canadian setting a new Games record of 56.36sec.
But she will have other chances in Birmingham to win an 11th gold.
Scott beat England’s Dean in a thrilling men’s 200m freestyle duel, pulling away from the Olympic champion in the final 50m to win in a time of 1min 45.02sec.
The 25-year-old, who won silver behind Dean at the Tokyo Games, was forced to withdraw from last month’s world championships in Budapest following a bout of Covid-19 but managed to turn the tables on his friend.
He returned to the pool to take bronze in the 400m individual medley behind New Zealand gold medallist Lewis Clareburt, who won in a time of 4:08.70.
Scott, who said it had been a “tough” double, added that he and Dean, who usually compete together for Britain, relished their rivalry.
“It’s a really positive thing,” he said. “It’s a nice change being on different sides of the table this time. Scotland vs England. It’s always positive.”