The Roar
The Roar


Comm Games Daily: 'Hard to be proud of myself' - McKeon makes history, swim stars set WR, gymnast's clutch gold

Emma McKeon. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)
31st July, 2022

Emma McKeon has now won more Commonwealth Games gold than anyone else, as she sang the anthem on the top step for the 11th time in her career.

McKeon’s individual landmark came as four Australians – Madi Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus – also swam into history.

The quartet set a world record to win the 4x200m freestyle relay – Australia’s third gold in a stunning 60 minutes on Sunday night.

Kaylee McKeown also saluted in the 100m backstroke and the swim team added four silver and three bronze medals to their collection on the night.

After the midway point of the Birmingham meet, Australia’s swim team have 11 golds, nine silver and 12 bronze.

McKeon has featured in three of the golds – two relays and her 50m freestyle triumph which hoisted her into the rarest of air.

The Wollongong wonder eclipsed the previous record for most Commonwealth golds – 10 – by Australian swimmers Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones.


“It’s really nice to be mentioned alongside some of those names and I will be part of that history for years to come, hopefully,” McKeon said.

But self-pride doesn’t come easy for the introverted McKeon, whose parents and brother both also swam for Australia at Commonwealth Games.

“I find it hard to be proud of myself at times,” she said.

“That something I’ve struggled with along the way.”

The relayers broke China’s landmark time of last year with a thundering last leg from Titmus.

The Australians clocked seven minutes 39.29 seconds, bettering China’s mark of 7:40.33 and afterwards, Titmus lauded McKeon.


“She’s probably the most humble athlete around,” Titmus said.

“She’s so understated and just goes about her business … she’s a silent assassin, she goes out there and does her job.”

Zac Stubblety-Cook (men’s 100m breaststroke), Meg Harris (women’s 50m freestyle) Jenna Strauch (women’s 200m breaststroke) and Tim Hodge (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) secured silvers.

Shayna Jack (women’s 50m freestyle), Blake Cochrane (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) and Sam Williamson (men’s 100m breaststroke) bagged bronzes.

And Kyle Chalmers, after saying in the morning he felt like flying home amid dry-land controversy, figuratively flew home in the men’s 100m semi-finals.

After blasting false reporting of a supposed love triangle involving his ex-partner McKeon and her new flame Cody Simpson, Chalmers clocked the second-fastest 100m free time this year to be quickest into Monday’s final.


Like Chalmers, McKeon also shut out the media storm in an Australian sweep in her milestone medal race with Harris and Jack.

“It is special,” McKeon said.

“It makes me reflect on the last eight years since my first Commonwealth Games.

“I can see how far I’ve come as a person and an athlete.”

Gymnast’s clutch gold

With the weight of the world on her shoulders and a Commonwealth Games gold medal at stake, Georgia Godwin knew exactly what soundtrack she needed to deliver glory.

Holding a handy lead over Ondine Anchampong and Emma Spence, and needing only a clean performance, the Australian commenced her floor routine to an instrumental version of Michael Buble’s ‘Feeling Good’.


A month after Godwin had contemplated skipping Birmingham altogether amid ankle issues, the Australian hit every beat, and officially snapped England’s run of artistic gymnastics gold medals.

Godwin’s 12.950 on the floor and total score of 53.550 sealed her first Commonwealth Games gold, an upgrade on her all-around silver on the Gold Coast, ahead of England’s Achampong (53.000) and Canada’s Spence (52.350)

“There’s been a lot that I’ve had to get through. I came into this competition with no expectations, I just wanted to do my best and here we are,” Godwin told reporters.

“That was actually quite difficult for me going into floor because you don’t want to stuff it up, so that plays on your mind.

“But I just said ‘no, you’ve done this 100 times … so just enjoy it. It’s your last floor routine here. Just enjoy it. Get the crowd involved and smile at the judges.’ 

“It is a new floor routine. That song is something that’s grown with me.

“Whenever I’m down I always play the song, Michael Buble always somehow manages to make me happy. So it was just the only choice for my new floor music.”


Godwin was coming off Saturday night’s team silver and admitted she hadn’t slept much before the tight turnaround.

The Queenslander was fifth after scoring 13.300 on the vault first-up.

But an outstanding uneven bars routine delivered 13.550 and lifted Godwin into third, 0.700 off England’s leader Alice Kinsella.

The competition dramatically opened up when Kinsella fell off the beam, failed to complete her routine and went over time.

The 21-year-old was distraught and slumped in a corner of Birmingham Arena after scoring 11.000.

“I did hear the crowd when Alice fell, but I didn’t quite know what was going on,” Godwin said.

“I tried to stay in my own little bubble, focus on what I was doing.”


Godwin capitalised, completing a brilliant routine by dismounting with a double somersault in the pike position to earn a competition-high score of 13.750 and take the lead.

“My beam routine, I’ve never quite hit the start score I’ve wanted to and if I’m correct, I did hit it today,” she said.

Achampong also fell, further opening the door for Godwin to seal her triumph.

Fellow Australian Emily Whitehead finished 12th on 47.650.

Godwin will compete in Monday’s vault and uneven bars finals and Tuesday’s beam final.

Elsewhere, Jesse Moore had to withdraw halfway through the men’s all-around final with a shoulder injury.

The 19-year-old is unlikely to compete in Monday’s rings final but could feature in the pommel horse and high bar deciders, on Monday and Tuesday respectively.


Clay Mason Stephens finished 11th on 76.800 and will finish his campaign in Monday’s floor final.

Team talk

Australia’s women’s sevens team claimed a gold medal by overcoming Fiji while the men finished fourth. CLICK HERE FOR A RUGBY WRAP.

The men’s and women’s hockey teams won their latest matches. The Kookaburras demolished Scotland 12-0 while the Hockeyroos beat South Africa 5-0.

Australia’s T20 team cruised to victory over Barbados to reach the semis. Alana King was denied a hat-trick after having a sitter dropped, but the Aussies restricted their opponents to 64 all out and reached the target one down off the first ball of the ninth over.