James Goddard struck gold in the men’s 200m backstroke, setting a new Games record as England’s rich vein of form in the pool continued with five medals on day three in Delhi.
Goddard pointed to the stands and punched the air in celebration after regaining the title he won in Manchester eight years ago in 1:55.58.
He said: “I wanted to step it up after this morning’s heats but I’m blown away by that time, which is a big Commonwealth Record.
“I was champion in 2002 and to be crowned again eight years later is an amazing feeling. In 2002 I was the youngest on the team, today I’m the oldest.
“I didn’t think about the medal coming into the event, experience has taught me that, I targeted a time, but to get a lifetime best is just outstanding.”
Women’s world 100m backstroke champion Gemma Spofforth, failed to match her world record breaking performance of last year in Rome, claiming silver in 1:00.02.
“I hate coming second. It’s a silver medal but it’s not the one I wanted,” she said. “I swam better than I have all week but my finish let me down, otherwise I think it would have been gold.”
Paraswimmer Simon Miller also won a silver in the men’s 50m freestyle S9 and praised the English support, which pushed him to a national record time of 26.70. Winner Matthew Cowdrey from Australia set a new world record of 25.33.
There was another medal for 50m butterfly gold winner Fran Halsall but her bronze in the women’s 100m freestyle was bittersweet as she was held back by a lingering illness.
“I was fast to the 50m mark but then struggled on the way back and had to settle for the bronze. It’s not what I wanted but all things considered I’ll take it.
“I’m going to have to sit down with my coach now and see how we approach the rest of the week.”
Another bronze came in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, where Jo Jackson, Rebecca Adlington, Emma Saunders and Sasha Matthews clocked 7:58.61, more than two seconds faster than the time which got the women silver in Melbourne but not enough to overcome Australia or New Zealand, who claimed gold and silver respectively.
Anchor Matthews said: “That’s the most fun I think I’ve had in swimming. It was amazing to bring back that relay in a record time and win a medal.
“I knew we were just outside the medals at the take over but just gave it absolutely everything.”
Ellen Gandy, who came fifth in the women’s 50m butterfly final yesterday, booked a place in the final of the 100m fly with the fastest qualifying time of 58.24.
Gandy said: “I'm pleased to make it through to the final ranked first but I know that the rest of the field is going to step up for the final.
“I’m not expecting anything tomorrow. I just need to focus on my own race and the outcome will take care of itself.”
She will be joined by 23 year-old Jess Sylvester who said qualifying for her first individual final at a major Games in 59.33 was an “amazing feeling”.
Simon Burnett and Adam Brown both made the final of the men’s 100m tomorrow.
Burnett said: “The plan tonight was just to make the final. It was a lot better than this morning as I felt rough and the swim felt rougher.”
“The time was ok but I need to drop it tomorrow when there'll be some big guys all gunning for the medals.”