Ariarne Titmus extended her phenomenal Commonwealth Games record with victory in her longest event.
A typically dominant performance over 800m means Launceston's 21-year-old freestyle specialist has won three gold medals in Birmingham and set world and Commonwealth records with her pet event still to come.
This follows three golds (400m, 800m, 4x200m) and a silver (200m) on the Gold Coast four years ago.
A phenomenally-fast final saw Titmus clock a personal best time of 8:13.59 to smash the Games record set by Jazmin Carlin, of Wales, in Glasgow eight years ago.
Titmus led throughout and was already three seconds inside the Games record at the halfway point. In the fifth Australian clean sweep at Sandwell Aquatics Centre, she beat relay teammate Kiah Melverton by 3:20 with fastest qualifer Lani Pallister third (+5:57). Fourth-placed Kiwi Eve Thomas was more than 19 seconds behind.
Titmus was happy to share the success with two teammates.
"I haven't done an 800 really competitively since the Olympics so I didn't really know what to expect. I'm happy with the PB and happy that all three of us were on the podium, that's the best. I don't know how good it is for them because my singing is horrendous but Commonwealth Games is really the only meet where you can have three on the podium because usually it's just two, so for us to have that opportunity it's really once in a lifetime. I remember it on the Gold Coast standing on the podium with three of us was my highlight, so to do it again here has been really great."
The Brisbane-based former Riverside and Launceston Aquatic Club member said she loves having parents Steve and Robyn and sister Mia watch her major meets.
"It's the best having them here. My family love coming away to my events, they have a hoot of a time. I think they come away to party more than anything. Last year not having them in the stands was difficult but being able to wave and knowing they are here to support me is really special."
Titmus had already won the 200m and 4x200m relay with her anchor-leg time of 1:52.82 officially the fastest relay split ever, becoming the first woman to break 1:53 in a relay. The world record in the individual 200m is 1:52.98, set by Italian Federica Pellegrini at the 2009 world championships.
Titmus's medal haul also includes two golds (200m and 400m), one silver (800m) and one bronze (4x200m relay) from the Tokyo Olympics.
The former Sacred Heart and St Patrick’s College student will conclude her hectic program in Birmingham with the 400m on Wednesday.
"The body's feeling pretty good," she added. "Our program kind of started quiet at the beginning of the week and then the last two days it seriously ramps up. Having the 800 and 400 back-to-back is the toughest double as a freestyler but we do our best to go back and recover and get ready for tomorrow."
A disappointing women's fours campaign and some Australian bowling history is motivating Rebecca Van Asch and her teammates in the women's triples in Birmingham.
The Invermay bowler and teammates Lynsey Clarke and Natasha van Eldik were in the fours team (along with Kristina Krstic) which fell short of the quarter-finals after one win, one loss and a tie in their pool.
They bounced back with a solid opening-round 22-11 defeat of Singapore in the triples in blustery conditions at Victoria Park in Leamington Spa, establishing a 13-1 lead after six ends and finishing strongly by winning three of the last four ends.
"The score probably makes it look like it was a bit more comfortable than it was," Van Asch said. "We had it in our heads that once we were out in front we wanted to capitalise and finish strong because we're in a tough section and it could very well come back to margin. That bit us in the fours and we don't want that to happen again. So if there's opportunities to grab more shots, we'll try and do it."
"The fours was disappointing, obviously, but full credit to our opponents. We just got outplayed, unfortunately, and didn't bring it when we needed to. We're trying to feed off that disappointment and that's motivating us now because we don't want to go through that again. So, disappointing yes, but we're trying to feed off it and the successes of yesterday for our Aussie crew has been incredibly inspiring."
Australia's record of never winning a bowls gold medal in a Northern Hemisphere Commonwealth Games was finally ended when Ellen Ryan claimed the women's singles.
"Internally, we'd tried not to talk about it but externally it's been brought up to us a few times. We're aware of it, and that the UK conditions have not always suited us, but we've put in more work and preparation than we've ever done. We've had purpose-built greens that we've never had before, we've become really familiar with our equipment over here and had the confidence that we could do it and to get a gold and silver yesterday and guaranteed at least two more silvers - hopefully even better - is fantastic."
The 34-year-old mother-of-one, who is also Bowls Australia high performance manager and formerly Bowls Tasmania chief executive, added: "With my staff member hat on, it was an incredible experience to know that our program and planning is working."
A world champion in pairs (2012), triples and fours (both 2016) and multiple national champion, Van Asch is backing up a 2018 Commonwealth Games campaign which yielded a golden double, and said Australia's preparation has been meticulous.
"We've really acclimatised so much that we step out there now and they don't feel like foreign conditions. And that was our aim - we wanted to feel like we were playing at home. We're familiar with the surroundings, it doesn't feel like some strange club that we're not used to. So we're taking a lot of confidence from all of that. All of the Australian players are feeling comfortable out there, more familiar than we've ever felt, now we've just got to perform when it counts.
"We started our preparations for this in 2018, did a tour in '18 and '19 and then May this year. Had COVID not been there we would have gad another few trips in there as well. Given that COVID hit, it was good that we started preparing four years out and I think that's paying dividends now."
The former St Finn Barr’s and St Patrick’s College student explained her contrasting roles in the fours and triples.
"I play third in the fours and Natasha skips and then when we get to the triples we swap it around. We've played it that way for the last six years and it's been successful for us at world champs and Comm Games. Traditionally, that's very unusual to do that in two disciplines, but it works for us that way.
"I really enjoy the role of third in the fours because I know I can have a big impact on the game and take a bit of responsibilty in that and try and thrive off it. Then when we go to the triples, Tash tries to do that for me and then I try and bash a few heads around with some big drives.
"The three of us talk about it a lot and even though Lynsey's leading, we bring her into the discussion about what shot to play and Tash and I read things pretty similar and are on the same page probably 98 per cent of the time. I guess that's where it helps knowing each other's games when the pressures on."
The Aussie triples team faces a double-header in the early hours of Thursday morning, against Falkland Islands (midnight) and South Africa (3am).