The road to redemption has come full circle for the Australian men’s freestyle relay team.
And it was the Missile, which failed to launch in London two years ago, who guided a green and gold medal success in Glasgow.
Finally, some of the heat has been reduced on the 4 x 100m freestyle squad with their come-from-behind victory in the Commonwealth Games final last night.
It brought golden rewards for WA’s Tommaso D’Orsogna and teammates Matt Abood, James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy. It was also consecutive Games relay triumphs for D’Orsogna and Magnussen. The win in New Delhi four years ago gave Australia great Olympic hope. That has now been reinstalled for Rio in 2016.
Australian swimming can now move on from the controversy of the hijinx and mayhem caused by the “Stilnox Six” at the Olympics two years ago and celebrate another victory in the pool.
Magnussen, so maligned after his disappointing swim in the relay in London, enabled the Dolphins to catch a South African combination that set the early pace after the first two legs from D’Orsogna and Abood.
When the dual world champion hit the water Australia was more than half-a-second behind.
By the time Magnussen hit the wall the deficit was 0.07secs. and then McEvoy, the national champion over the distance this year, stormed home to notch 3min. 13.44secs. The South African line-up of Chad le Clos, veteran Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland and Caydon Muller took silver in 3:15.17. England was third with 3:16.37.
Magnussen was expected to swim the anchor leg. However, after discussions between relay coach Brant Best and the foursome, the task was handed to McEvoy.
D’Orsogna, 23, was slightly disappointed with his opening leg but had the confidence the lessons of London had been learned and his teammates would complete the job.
“Things happen, sometimes things don’t go to plan,” D’Orsonga said in reference to London.
“It was a little bit like me tonight. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan for my individual swim.
“But luckily I had the three guys there to finish off.
“What we did in 2012, it was the combined efforts of the other teams that stood up that day. For us, we were the ones that stood up tonight.”
The Australian relay team is relatively young and backed by even fresher faces Ned McKendry, Kenneth To and Jayden Hadler.
D’Orsogna, who is determined to make another Olympics, believed it put the Dolphins in a strong position to strive for success in Rio.
“Everything we do now is really moving towards Rio,” D’Orsogna said. “We will be working together over the next two years for the Olympics.
“It is a young group that swam the heats this morning – there are some really young boys in that group. Most of us are in our early 20s. Hopefully it is the same group in Rio and then we can see what we can achieve there.”