Emma McKeon makes Commonwealth Games history in unprecedented feat

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Emma McKeon, pictured here after becoming the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history.
Emma McKeon has become the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history. Image: Getty

Emma McKeon has became the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history, winning the 11th gold medal of her career on Sunday in Birmingham.

McKeon claimed victory in the 50m freestyle on Sunday night to clinch her third gold medal of the Games and 11th of her career.

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She came to Birmingham with eight gold medals in two previous editions of the Games.

But the Wollongong wonder has now eclipsed the previous record for most Commonwealth golds (10), set by fellow Australian swimmers Susie O'Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones.

"It's really nice to be mentioned alongside some of those names and I will be part of that history for years to come, hopefully," McKeon said.

"They're the ones who inspired me when I was young. I remember watching them on TV and that lit the fire in me to be where I am now."

McKeon's landmark victory was among three more gold medals, four silver and three bronze collected by Australia's swim team on Sunday night.

Women's 100m backstroke world record holder Kaylee McKeown won her pet event to join the women's 4x200m freestyle relay team and McKeon in winning gold.

Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack, pictured here with their medals after the 50m freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games.
Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack pose with their medals after the 50m freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The relay team of Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O'Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus set a new world record, breaking China's landmark time from last year.

The Australians clocked seven minutes 39.29 seconds, bettering China's mark of 7:40.33.

Zac Stubblety-Cook (men's 100m breaststroke), Meg Harris (women's 50m freestyle) Jenna Strauch (women's 200m breaststroke) and Tim Hodge (men's 100m breaststroke S8) all won silvers.

Shayna Jack (women's 50m freestyle), Blake Cochrane (men's 100m breaststroke S8) and Sam Williamson (men's 100m breaststroke) bagged bronzes.

Kyle Chalmers and Emma McKeon brush off 'love triangle' dramas

And Kyle Chalmers, after saying in the morning he felt like flying home amid dry-land controversy, figuratively flew home in the men's 100m semi-finals.

After blasting false reporting of a supposed 'love triangle' involving his ex-partner McKeon and her new flame Cody Simpson, Chalmers clocked the second-fastest time in the 100m free this year to be quickest into Monday's final.

Like Chalmers, McKeon also shut out the media storm in an Australian sweep in her milestone medal race with Harris and Jack.

Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack, pictured here celebrating their medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack celebrate their medals at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

"It is special," McKeon said.

"It makes me reflect on the last eight years since my first Commonwealth Games.

"I can see how far I've come as a person and an athlete."

McKeon, whose parents and brother both also swam for Australia at Commonwealth Games, broke down in tears while adding: "I find it hard to be proud of myself at times.

"That's something I've struggled with along the way."

with AAP

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