DELHI, India, October 8. THE penultimate finals session at the 2010 Commonwealth Games saw some major meet records broken, with Cameron van der Burgh posting the sole world-leading time of the day.
Men's 100 butterfly final
Geoff Huegill of Australia won his third 100 butterfly Commonwealth Games title today, breaking his own Games record and capping off an amazing comeback that began more than a year ago. Huegill won the race decisively in 51.69, lowering his meet record of 52.36 from 2002 and posting a lifetime best time, bettering the time he swam in the semifinals of the 2000 Olympics.
Huegill also won this event at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. His winning time moves him from a tie for 10th in the world to a tie for second with USA's Tyler McGill.
Papua New Guinea's Ryan Pini, a 2008 Olympic finalist in this event, and Antony James of England will share the silver medal after hitting the pad with matching times of 52.50. Both also share the 22nd-place world ranking.
Australia's Christopher Wright and Kenya's Jason Dunford, the winner of the 50 butterfly and the leader after 50 meters, tied for fourth in 52.66. Canada's Stefan Hirniak (53.83), Scotland's Andrew Mayor (53.85) and Cayman Islands' Shaun Fraser (54.03) rounded out the field.
Women's 50 freestyle final
Australian Yolane Kukla joins countryman Ian Thorpe as the only 15-year-old Commonwealth Games swimming champions in history with her victory in the splash-and-dash finale. Kukla swam a 24.86, which is just off her best time of 24.74, swum in August at the junior Pan Pacific championships. England's Fran Halsall, coming back from a physically tough Thursday in which she felt the effects of stomach pains, won silver in 24.98. Rounding out the podium was New Zealand's Hayley Palmer with a 25.01.
Victoria Poon of Canada (25.13), Australia's Marieke Guehrer (25.26), Alice Mills of Australia (25.50), Amy Smith of England (25.74) and Lai Chui of Malaysia (26.05) completed the field in the final.
Men's 50 breaststroke final
World record holder Cameron van der Burgh took over the top spot in the world rankings with his winning time of 27.18. For the second time today, a tie occurred for second place, with Australia's Brenton Rickard and New Zealand's Glenn Snyders both posting matching times of 27.67.
The field was rounded out by Australia's Christian Sprenger (27.87), Canada's Scott Dickens (28.07), England's Daniel Sliwinski (28.12), Tonga's Amini Fonua (28.69) and India's Sandeep Sejwal (28.85).
Women's 200 backstroke final
Meagan Nay of Australia regained the meet record with a winning time of 2:07.56, breaking Melissa Ingram's mark of 2:09.43 and climbing to third in the world rankings. Nay touched out England's Elizabeth Simmonds, who won silver in 2:07.90. Simmonds still owns the top time in the world, a 2:06.79 from March's British nationals. The bronze went to Emily Seebohm of Australia, who picked up her fifth medal of the meet with a 2:08.38.
Belinda Hocking of Australia (2:09.01), England's Gemma Spofforth (2:09.08) and Stephanie Proud (2:09.12), Ingram (2:09.53) and Genevieve Cantin of Canada (2:12.04) rounded out the rest of the final.
Women's 100 breaststroke final
Leisel Jones was unable to sweep all three breaststroke events this year at the Commonwealth Games, but she did become the first woman to win the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at three successive Commonwealth Games with her win in the 100 today. Her time of 1:05.84 is a little slower than the 1:05.66 she swam at the Pan Pacific championships that keeps her ranked second in the world.
The silver medal was won by Jones' teammate Samantha Marshall with a 1:07.97. Bronze went to England's Kate Haywood with a 1:08.29 to match the bronze medal she won in the 50 breast earlier.
The rest of the final consisted of Australia's Sarah Katsoulis (1:08.49), Canada's Annamay Pierse (1:08.79), Canada's Martha McCabe (1:09.25), England's Stacey Tadd (1:10.12) and England's Rebecca Ajulu-Bushell (1:10.73).
Men's 100 backstroke final
Liam Tancock defended the title he won in 2006 with a 53.59, a new meet record, eclipsing Ashley Delaney's 54.31 from yesterday's semifinals. Tancock couldn't get close to the 52.85 from the British nationals that still ranks him second in the world, but he now has another gold medal to go with the one he earned in the 50 backstroke.
New Zealand's Daniel Bell placed second with a 54.43, a little off the 54.38 he swam in the semifinals to put him 21st in the world. Delaney pulled off the interesting feat of winning a bronze medal in all three backstroke distances this week with his time of 54.51.
Wales' Marco Loughran (54.68), New Zealand's Gareth Kean (54.91), England's Christopher Walker-Hebborn (55.04), England's Ryan Bennett (55.85) and South Africa's Charl Crous (55.90) rounded out the final.
Women's 400 freestyle final
Rebecca Adlington, the reigning Olympic champion in this event, broke a 14-year-old meet record in winning her second event in India with a 4:05.68. The former record wass set in 1986 by England's Sarah Hardcastle with a 4:07.68. Adlington's winning time is off the 4:04.55 she swam to win the European title in August. That time keeps her ranked second in the world. Australia's Kylie Palmer almost dipped under the former meet record with a silver medal-winning time of 4:07.85. The bronze medal went to Wales' Jazmin Carlin with a 4:08.22.
England's Anne Bochmann (4:08.30), New Zealand's Lauren Boyle (4:09.45), England's Joanne Jackson (4.10.37), South Africa's Wendy Trott (4:10.74) and Canada's Alexandra Komarnycky (4:11.57) also competed in the final.
ParaSport Men's S8 100 freestyle final
Australia's Benjamin Austin took the gold medal with a 1:00.44. Silver went to Scotland's Sean Fraser with a 1:00.77 and Blake Cochrane of Australia posted a 1:00.95 for bronze.
Women's 50 backstroke final
Sophie Edington notched her first win of the meet with a time of 28.00, a new meet record. That eclipsed Emily Seebohm's 28.03 from yesterday's semifinals. Gemma Spofforth was second in 28.03. And for the third time today, two swimmers share a medal. This time, it's Wales' Georgia Davies and Seebohm, who tied with matching 28.33 for the bronze medal.
Fifth through eighth places went to Australia's Grace Loh (28.66), Canada's Julia Wilkinson (28.76), New Zealand's Emily Thomas (290.02) and Canada's Sinead Russell (29.14).
Men's 200 IM final
James Goddard became the first man to dip under the two-minute barrier in the short medley today with a winning time of 1:58.10, breaking Matthew Dunn's 1998 record of 2:00.26. That time puts Goddard ninth in the world rankings. Joseph Roebuck also dipped under the barrier with a silver medal-winning time of 1:59.86. Australia's Leith Brodie almost made it three men under two minutes with a 2:00.00 for bronze.
South Africa's Darian Townsend (2:00.29) and Chad Le Clos (2:00.74), Australia's Thomas Fraser-Holmes (2:02.31), South Africa's Sebastien Rousseau (2:02.65) and Canada's Tobias Oriwoll (2:03.09) rounded out the top eight.
Women's 400 freestyle relay
Australia, going without teenage sensation Yolane Kukla, still won the event handily with a 3:36.36, a new meet record that eclipsed the 3:36.49 from 2006 set by the Aussies. The relay was swum by Alicia Coutts (54.17), Marieke Guehrer (54.08), Felicity Galvez (53.98) and Emily Seebohm (54.13). With this win, Coutts now has four gold medals to her name from races this week. Seebohm raised her medal tally to two golds, two silvers and two bronzes.
After the race, a disqualification was handed to Canada for an early takeoff on the second swimmer, Genevieve Saumur. That gave the silver medal to England's team of Amy Smith (55.26), Fran Halsall (53.98), Emma Saunders (55.51) and Jessica Sylvester (55.28) with a time of 3:40.03.
New Zealand's team of Hayley Palmer (55.11), Penelope Marshall (55.76), Amaka Gessler (55.79) and Natasha Hind (55.46) took the bronze in 3:42.12. The rest of the final was swum by Northern Ireland (3:49.48), Scotland (3:49.79), Malaysia (3:54.83) and India (4:02.55).
Gideon Louw nearly broke the meet record in the 50 freestyle with a top time of 22.07. The meet record still stands at 22.03, set in 2006 by South Africa's Roland Schoeman. Brent Hayden, the winner of the 100 freestyle, qualified second with a 22.18 and Australia's Cameron Prosser had the third-fastest time with a 22.28.
Australia's Eamon Sullivan (22.36), Schoeman (22.48), Kenya's David Dunford (22.55), England's Simon Burnett (22.66) and England's Adam Brown (22.75) will also swim in tomorrow's final.