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Flying start for Scotland at Games

AAP
Friday, July 25, 2014

Update: 11:19AM England and Australia wheeled out several of their biggest guns to great effect as the Commonwealth heavyweights shot straight to the top of the Glasgow medals table on Thursday.

But the big surprise of the opening day of competition was the flying start made by the host nation, which pocketed four golds in swimming and judo.

Carrying on the momentum generated at the London Olympics, England had overall bragging rights after day one, with six golds among 17 overall medals.

Australia's tally of 15 medals included three golds in the pool and two on the track.

England's most high-profile winner was Alistair Brownlee, who added the Commonwealth triathlon title to his Olympic, world and European crowns.

With younger brother Jonny claiming silver and Jodie Stimpson winning the women's race, England snared four of the six triathlon medals on offer, with Australia kept off the podium altogether.

A day after proudly carrying the Australian flag at the opening ceremony, Anna Meares won a third straight women's 500m time trial title in a Games record-breaking time.

Australia also beat an England team including 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins in the men's 4000m team pursuit.

Wiggins, riding in a major track meet for only the second time in six years, appeared to call time on his Grand Tours career after the race to focus on the Rio Olympics.

"I just think with the commitment it will take to ride track and the speeds we will have to go at, it will take a complete change," he said.

"You're already looking at changing body composition and things like that - getting heavier and more explosive - which will hinder climbing in Grand Tours.

"And I don't relish the idea of riding round in the back group for three weeks having won the Tour."

Another English superstar, Mo Farah, won't be coming to Glasgow at all after the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champ withdrew from the Games due to illness.

The swimming pool has been the bedrock for much of Australia's Commonwealth sporting domination down through the decades and the early signs are good that the 2014 Games will see the tradition continue.

The big winner was Emma McKeon, who helped Australia to a world record in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay, having earlier powered to victory in the 200m freestyle.

But the loudest cheers of the night were for Scottish duo Ross Murdoch and Hannah Miley, who won the men's 200m breaststroke and the women's 400m individual medley respectively.

Murdoch relegated countryman and gold-medal favourite Michael Jamieson to silver.

The late International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch was fond of saying that the overall success of any major Games went hand in hand with the success of their athletes.

On that score - and the fact that the sun continues to blaze down in Glasgow to the shock of the locals - the 2014 Games are off to a flier.

Scotland also pocketed two golds in the judo with matching triumphs for sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks.

Another form of modern-day success - social media superstardom - was achieved by Hockeyroos duo Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris, who photo bombed the Queen.

England, Scotland and the rest have another 10 days to top that stunning effort.








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