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Commonwealth Games: Swimming gold rush for Scotland, Australia

Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch struck gold for hosts Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Thursday, whilst Australia claimed three golds including a world record in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.

GLASGOW: Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch struck gold for hosts Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Thursday, whilst Australia claimed three golds including a world record in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.

Miley got the hosts of to a flying start with the first gold medal of the meet as she retained her 400m individual medley title in a new Games record time of 4min 31:76sec.

The 24-year-old edged out England's Aimee Wilmott with Australia's Keryn McMaster in third.

"It was always going to be a great race between myself and Aimee," said Miley.

"Her first half is so much stronger than mine so I knew it was going to be such a close race."

And Miley paid tribute to the home crowd that pulled her towards the finish line.

"It's pretty cool actually," she added. "It's quite hard to stay in your bubble and concentrate, but I used it in the heats and everyone is just rising off it."

However, there was no such joy for poster boy Michael Jamieson as the Glasgow-born swimmer had to settle for silver after Murdoch produced another Games record in the men's 200m breaststroke.

"I am lost for words. I never thought that would become a reality," said Murdoch.

"It was always a dream of mine to come out to a home crowd and perform my best, but it is something I can't explain. In that last 50 metres to have that many people cheering you on it is something I will remember for the rest of my life."

For Jamieson a silver medal was scant consolation after losing out on the biggest prize in a race he had described for months as the biggest of his career to date.

"I'm obviously gutted. I didn't train for second place. I came here to win," he said.

The performance of the evening went to the Australian women's 4x100m freestyle relay team of Bronte Campbell, Melanie Schlanger, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell as they set a new world record of 3min 30:98sec to retain their Commonwealth title ahead of England and Canada.

McKeon won two golds on the night as she also claimed victory in the 200m freestyle with Siobhan O'Connor taking silver for England and Bronte Barratt the bronze for Australia.

There was more Aussie gold in the first para-swimming final of the Games as Rowan Crothers broke his own world record in the 100m freestyle S9 in a time of 54:58sec ahead of compatriots Matthew Cowdrey and Brenden Hall in second and third respectively.

"It means the world to me," said Crothers.

"I tried to make sure I controlled the first 25 metres and then I could go harder. I have probably worked harder in this race than any other race in my whole life, but it was worth it."

Ryan Cochrane claimed Canada's first gold of the Games as he produced a remarkable comeback in the final 100 metres to win the men's 400m freestyle final ahead of Australia's David McKeon in a time of 3min 43:46sec with England's James Guy taking the bronze.

"It has been a long year's work. I can't believe I can still get these times," said a delighted Cochrane.

In the night's semi-finals, Jamaica's Alia Atkinson broke the Commonwealth Games record for the second time in a day as she qualified fastest for the women's 50m breaststroke final on Friday in 30:17secs.

Olympic champion Chad le Clos had to be content with qualifying second fastest for the men's 50m butterfly as he was beaten for a second time in the day by England's Benjamin Proud.

Alicia Coutts remains on course for her sixth Commonwealth gold medal as she qualified third fastest for the women's 100m butterfly behind O'Connor and Canada's Katerine Savard.

And another Aussie Mitch Larkin was fastest in the men's 100m backstroke semi-finals ahead of defending champion Liam Tancock of England.

Women's 400m individual medley:
Gold: Hannah Miley (SCO)
Silver: Aimee Wilmott (ENG)
Bronze: Keryn McMaster (AUS)

Men's 400m freestyle:
Gold: Ryan Cochrane (CAN)
Silver: David McKeon (AUS)
Bronze: James Guy (ENG)

Men's 100m freestyle - parasport:
Gold: Rowan Crothers (AUS) - WR
Silver: Matthew Cowdrey (AUS)
Bronze: Brenden Hall (AUS)

Women's 200m freestyle:
Gold: Emma McKeon (AUS)
Silver: Siobhan O'Connor (ENG)
Bronze: Bronte Barratt (AUS)

Women's 4x100m freestyle relay:
Gold: Australia - World Record
Silver: England
Bronze: Canada

Men's 200m breaststroke:
Gold: Ross Murdoch (SCO)
Silver: Michael Jamieson (SCO)
Bronze: Andrew Willis (ENG) 

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