Day 1 of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games saw Team England enjoy huge success, claiming 12 medals including six golds and finishing the day on top of the medal table.
Jess Learmonth’s early morning silver medal in the women’s triathlon got England off to a great start, with medal-hopefuls Jonny and Alistair Brownlee finishing 7thand 10th respectively.
Eight hours later, Team England claimed its next medal, acting as a catalyst for medal success as the medals started rolling in at quite a pace.
Sophie Thornhill MBE and pilot Helen Scott MBE, who were clear favourites in the women’s B&VI Sprint Final coming into the race, cruised to victory over Australian counterparts Jessica Gallagher and Madison Janssen. On top of Thornhill claiming her third Commonwealth gold, she also added a world record set in qualifying for good measure.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the day was England’s final gold, as rank outsider James Wilby stormed past the defending Commonwealth champion Ross Murdoch in the final 25m of the 200m men’s breaststroke. In the process of his stunning victory, Wilby also set a new PB, decimating his previous best by two seconds.
On the topic of records, Thomas Hamer fancied a bit of the action, as he set a new world record time of 1:55:88 in the men’s S14 200m freestyle. Shortly after, 16-year-old Ellie Robinson continued the gold rush in the pool and secured her place in the history books, as England clinched two Commonwealth victories in para-swimming for the first time.
England were near-untouchable in the pool and at the velodrome, securing six medals in the water and a further four on the bikes. Aimee Willmott put on a valiant display to take gold away from Scotland’s Hannah Miley and James Guy clinched bronze in what he described as his “last” 400m freestyle race.
The men’s 4000m team pursuit cycling team settled for an impressive silver, while the team sprint teams found themselves amongst the medals too, with the men taking silver and the women taking bronze.
Elsewhere, the men’s artistic gymnastic team, comprised of vastly experienced Max Whitlock MBE and Nile Wilson and Commonwealth debutants James Hall, Courtney Tulloch and Dominick Cunningham, stormed to gold with a dominant display. Despite Whitlock only competing in the final few rotations, England led from the outset and throughout, grinding out a large lead. Boasting an individual one-two finish in nearly all the apparatus, the athletes advance to the individual events in high spirits.
A great first day for Team England at Gold Coast 2018.
Keep an eye out for our preview piece for what’s to come in day 2.