Team England has enjoyed pure delight this morning, claiming a whopping five gold medals within the space of an hour. Sophie Thornhill MBE began the haul to claim her third Commonwealth gold in the para-cycling along with guide Helen Scott MBE.
Thornhill and Scott, who set a world record in qualifying earlier this morning, beat Australia’s Jessica Gallagher and pilot Madison Janssen by a margin of 0.167 and 0.204 in a clean sweep.
The men’s artistic gymnastics team, including two-time Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock MBE, stormed to victory in the men's final just a few minutes later to claim the country's first and second gold medals in the Gold Coast, respectively.
Competing in the third subdivision alongside Scotland and Canada, James Hall and Nile Wilson put in strong individual displays to give England the advantage that they didn't let slip for the remainder of the finals.
Along with Hall and Wilson, Courtney Tulloch and Dominick Cunningham also performed admirably all-around as Team England finished with an overall score of 258.95, ten points clear of second-placed Canada, with Scotland claiming bronze.
Whitlock, who didn't compete until Team England's fourth rotation, showed very little rust as he took to the floor having not competed since the 2017 World Championships in Montreal. With this team gold, the 2014 Commonwealth triple-champion adds to his already-impressive medal record.
Aimee Willmott secured England’s third gold medal after a phenomenal performance in the women’s 400m individual medley, beating Scotland’s Hannah Miley, who was tussling with Canada’s Sarah Darcel for the majority of the race.
Glasgow silver medalist Willmott began the race as an outsider for the gold, only for the 25-year-old to defy expectations and claim a thoroughly deserved victory after coming from behind to stun Miley.
“I tried to tactically swim it a lot better,” a beaming Willmott explained. “In Glasgow my downfall was that I tried to win it after 250 meters, so it’s a case of swimming controlled and really trying not to worry about what is going on”.
Then, when the nation was still catching its breath, teenager Thomas Hamer won gold in the men’s S14 200m freestyle with a world record swim, holding off three surrounding Australians.
Australian’s Liam Schluter and Dan Fox simply couldn’t catch Hamer, as he set a world record time of 1:55:88.
“I’m really happy and super pleased,” the 19-year-old exclaimed. “Winning the gold means the world, I got silver in 2014 and it’s amazing to see how, four years on, the progress I’ve made”.
To round off an incredible hour, 16-year-old sensation Eleanor Robinson clinched gold in the S7 50m butterfly to continue Team England’s dominance in the pool.
In a race where only four athletes competed, Robinson got off to a slow start but began going through the gears and held off the advances of Canada’s Sarah Mehain, who could only manage silver.
“We're swimming with athletes. This is like how singers go to concerts,” an emotional Robinson explained. “This is how they showcase their talent and I like having those big crowds so I can show people what I can do”.As a result of this morning’s haul, Team England took their medal tally to ten following Jess Learmonth’s silver medal-winning run in the women’s triathlon, James Guy’s bronze in the pool and a 4000m cycling silver.
Plenty still to come this afternoon.