Magnussen’s still the king and the queen’s been deposed, but she’s not going anywhere.
James Magnussen reaffirmed himself as Australia’s fastest man in water and, while not quite redemption for his London Olympic failings – that opportunity will come in Rio in two years’ time – he’s on the way.
The world champion claimed gold in the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, exacting revenge on teammate Cameron McEvoy and setting himself up for another crack at the Americans.
“I just wanted to get the win tonight. Reaffirm to myself I’ve still got it, still going good and now I can focus on doing the quickest race I can against the Americans at the Pan Pacs (next month),” he said.
Magnussen admitted his loss to McEvoy at the Australian trials in April had stung his pride.
“It did motivate me and I probably trained quite a bit harder between trials and here because of it,” Magnussen said.
But Anna Meares’ reign as the Commonwealth’s, and even Australia’s, fastest female cyclist is over after teammate Stephanie Morton beat her in the final of the women’s sprint.
Morton denied Meares a record sixth Commonwealth Games gold medal and then asked her training partner, mentor and friend to share top spot on the dais with her.
But it was no farewell gesture, with Meares emphatically putting an end to rumours she might retire at the Games and declaring she’s determined to defend her Olympic sprint gold medal in Rio in 2016.
“I am not done yet. Who said that?,” she said.
“I will definitely be going to Rio, that is my projection.”
Matthew Glaetzer then won the keirin to claim Australia’s seventh gold medal at the velodrome to finish as the Games’ top track cycling nation, also winning eight silver and five bronze from the 17 events.
Australia won eight gold on Sunday to pull clear of England at the top of the medals table with 26 gold in a total of 73.
England has 23 gold and 57 medals in all.
The day got off to a stunning start for Australia with Michael Shelley opening the athletics program with a shock win in the marathon, while Jess Trengove took bronze in the women’s event.
Melissa Breen cruised through to win her heat in the opening round of the 100m at Hampden Park and is in a strong position to earn a place in her first major final, while Jodi Elkington won the gold medal in the women’s para-sport long jump.
But it was in the pool where Australia’s expected dominance continued, winning four gold to bring their total to 15 out of the 28 golds so far with two days left of competition.
McEvoy backed up after the 100m to join David McKeon, Ned McKendry and Thomas Fraser-Holmes to win the 4x200m freestyle relay, while Belinda Hocking won the 200m backstroke and Ben Treffers took gold in the 50m backstroke.
Australia had to settle for bronze in sevens rugby as it fell yet again to New Zealand in the semis.
The Hockeyroos brushed Scotland aside 9-0 to take their goal tally for the Games to 22 in three games, while they haven’t been scored against.
And the netballers had a similarly massive win, thrashing Barbados 77-27.