England stun Australia to win men's 4x100-meter medley gold
AFP Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
GLASGOW, Scotland -- England inflicted Australia's first relay defeat at the Commonwealth Games for eight years as they claimed gold in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay on Tuesday.
The team of Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, Adam Barrett and Adam Brown came home in a Games record time of 3 minutes 31:51 seconds to claim England's 10th gold medal of the meet.
It was the first time in 64 years that an English team had beaten Australia in a senior meet, but their good work through 300 meters was very nearly undone by world 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen's sensational final leg for Australia.
"I knew I was going against the fastest guy in the world right now in Magnussen so I just dug in deep that last 50 and luckily held on to get the win for these guys," said Brown.
"It is unbelievable and it is still a pretty young team as well, so I am looking forward to the next couple of years with these guys."
Despite coming up just short, Australia still won 19 golds in the pool in Glasgow and recorded their best ever medal haul at a Commonwealth Games of 57.
The relay was lost for the Aussies in the breaststroke leg as 100m breaststroke world champion Christian Sprenger was over a second slower than England's double gold medalist Adam Peaty.
Sprenger has struggled with a shoulder injury all week, but insisted he was still happy to take silver.
"It was still very tough. I wanted to lift to a level I haven't been to this week, but I did what my body could take.
"It was really difficult to get myself going again tonight but it is a great way to finish. I am delighted to be a part of this team."
Magnussen said a back injury could also prevent him from taking part in the Pan-Pacific championships on home soil in the Gold Coast in three weeks' time.
"Today was probably my worst day with the injury. I struggled to walk into the dining hall this morning.
"I am not super worried about it with Rio being two years away.
"I am going to get some MRI scans when I get home and I'm grateful to the physios who have worked with us over here.
"I have a nice 20-plus hour flight in economy back first and we will sort it when we land."
Meanwhile, third place for South Africa meant that Chad le Clos picked up his seventh medal of the event.
Le Clos also took gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly, silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronze in the 50m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay.
"It's been a great week for me," said the 22-year-old.
"Starting off with the 50m fly just to get the bronze was a great start and it's gone from there. The relays were amazing for me in particular.
"We gave everyone a run for their money and proved to the rest of the world South Africa can be a force to be reckoned with."
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