Australian swimming ticked another box with a clean sweep of the men’s 200m backstroke at Glasgow 2014 tonight.
Mitch Larkin, who had been denied gold twice in the 50m and 100m backstroke at the 20th Commonwealth Games finally got to stand on the tallest step on the podium in the four-lap event.
And Larkin (1min. 55.83sec) was joined by teammates Josh Beaver (1:56.19) and Mat Lawson (1:56.63) to give the green and gold army a trifecta to celebrate on the second last night of competition.
But there was another honour for Larkin as the 21-year-old became the first Australian to win the Commonwealth Games 200m backstroke since Brad Cooper in Christchurch in 1974.
“How good is that? One, two, three. Go Aussie,” Larkin said.
“It has been a long week, but a fantastic week. It feels unreal to get a gold tonight.”
There were more medals to boost the Australian tally.
Lorna Tonks (1:07.34) was second in the 100m breaststroke behind England’s Sophie Taylor (1.06.35). WA’s Sally Hunter was fourth in 1.08.26.
Jesse Aungles was second and Blake Cochrane third in the men’s para-sport 200m individual medley SM8.
Maddie Groves collected bronze in 2:08.44 behind Canada’s Audrey Lacroix (2:07.61) in the women’s 200m butterfly.
And veteran Christian Sprenger (27.46) got some reward out of very trying meet, physically and mentally, with a bronze medal in the men’s 50m breaststroke. His nemesis from the London Olympics two years ago, South African Cameron van den Burgh (26.76) set a Commonwealth Games record to finish first.
However, Australian sprinter James Magnussen has some work to do to be among the medals in the 50m freestyle final tomorrow night.
Magnussen, who won the 100m freestyle earlier in the meeting, was the fifth fastest qualifier in 22.23. Teammates Cameron McEvoy (21.94) and Matt Abood (22.07) were second and third on the list after the semi-finals.