Phelps-like le Clos, Peaty light up Commonwealths

Chad Le Clos of South Africa reacts. (Reuters pic)

GOLD COAST: Chad le Clos made history and Adam Peaty completed a four-year unbeaten cycle as two of the Commonwealth Games’ top swimmers lit up the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Le Clos’s 200 metres butterfly victory made him the first man to win the same event three times at the Games, while Peaty extended his remarkable 100m breaststroke winning streak.

It came on a day when Australia won two more swimming golds and another two in track cycling to reach 20 at the top of the medals table, ahead of England on 14.

Le Clos grabbed his second gold of these Games and sixth overall with victory in the 200m fly, his pet event, in which he famously stunned Michael Phelps at the 2012 Olympics.

Although two women, Australia’s Leisel Jones and Petria Thomas, have won the three golds in the same event, le Clos becomes the first male swimmer to complete a hat-trick.

“I wanted to get the three — 2014, 2016, 2018. No one has done the triple before so I feel like the Michael Phelps of the Commonwealth (Games) — I’m happy.”

World record-holder Peaty, however, was less satisfied with his 100m breaststroke, despite extending an unbeaten run which dates back to his Commonwealth victory in 2014.

“I think I was on world-record pace at 50m but I was cramping up with 50 to go and that never happens,” said Peaty, 23.

“It’s been a big learning curve here. My stroke feels nowhere near where it should be. I think we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”

Australia’s Cate Campbell won the women’s 50m freestyle for her second gold of the Games, and Ariarne Titmus anchored the hosts to victory in the 4x200m freestyle.

Heavy crash 
At Anna Meares Velodrome, Australian cyclist Sam Welsford won the men’s 15km scratch race and Kaarle McCulloch triumphed in the women’s 500m time trial — but world champion Matthew Glaetzer was stunned in the sprint.

England’s Nile Wilson gritted his teeth through a wrist injury to win the all-around gymnastics, pipping team-mate James Hall on the final apparatus, the high bar.

“It went down to the last piece, you can’t write it,” said Wilson. “To finish like we did, and get gold and silver, with one of the best high-bar routines I’ve put together — it’s the best feeling.”

Canada’s Ellie Black took the women’s all-around title to add to her team gold won a day earlier.

Australia edged Jonny Brownlee’s England to win the triathlon mixed team relay and in the Games’ inaugural para triathlon, Australia’s Bill Chaffey took bronze after a heavy crash on his hand bike.

Malaysian squash legend Nicol David, an eight-time world champion, beat England’s Alison Waters 3-2 to reach the semi-finals as she bids for her third straight title.

But there was a major shock in the men’s competition as Malaysia’s 12th seed Nafiizwan Adnan beat England’s two-time defending champion Nick Matthew 3-2.

At the beach volleyball, there was a minute’s silence and Rwanda’s players wore black armbands to commemorate victims of the 1994 Tutsi genocide.

In hockey, Pakistan used a late video referral to earn a 2-2 draw with arch-rivals India, with Ali Mubashar slamming home a penalty corner at the end of a bad-tempered game.

But India extended their weightlifting haul to six medals as Sathish Kumar Sivalingam won the men’s 77kg and Venkat Rahul Ragala triumphed in the 85kg category.