Host Australia has golden day at Commonwealth Games

GOLD COAST, Australia — Australia won nine gold medals Friday for its best daily total since 2010 to take a commanding lead in the medal count at the Commonwealth Games after two days of competition.

The host country won six swimming golds at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, added two at the velodrome in Brisbane and got a surprising one from Tia-Clair Toomey, who took gold in the women’s 58-kilogram weightlifting, Australia’s first gold in that sport at the Commonwealth Games in 12 years.

Australia had 14 gold medals after Friday’s events, and England next-best with nine. Australia has 36 medals overall, double that of second-place England.

Elsewhere around the games on Friday:

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AT THE POOL: Olympic 100-meter champion Kyle Chalmers collected two gold medals, winning the 200-meter freestyle and as a member of the victorious 4×100 freestyle relay. Emma McKeon led Australia to a sweep of the podium in the 100 butterfly and Mitch Larkin won the 100 backstroke. Australia also earned four silver and four bronze medals in the pool.

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AT THE VELODROME: Australian Stephanie Morton won her second gold medal in two days, breezing past New Zealand’s Natasha Hansen to defend her sprint title a day after a win in the team sprint. Matthew Glaetzer then won the keirin. Katie Archibald of Scotland won the women’s 3,000-meter individual pursuit and Charlie Tanfield took the men’s 4,000-meter individual pursuit for England.

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FIT TOOMEY: Dubbed the fittest woman in the world after winning the 2017 CrossFit Games, the Australian successfully switched sport. Sitting in second spot behind Canadian Tali Darsigny after the snatch, the 24-year-old Queenslander lifted 114 kilograms with the final attempt in the clean and jerk for a winning total of 201. “Winning the CrossFit Games was unbelievable,” she said, “but winning it here in front of my home crowd on the platform was just spectacular.”

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INDIAN GOLD: Sanjita Chanu Khumukcham won India’s second gold medal with victory in the women’s 53-kilogram weightlifting final. Khumukcham, who won gold in the 48-kilogram class at Glasgow in 2014, had a total of 192 kilograms.

The silver went to Loa Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea (182) and Rachel Leblanc-Bazinet of Canada took the bronze (181). Welshman Gareth Evans win in the 69-kilogram division.

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WRONG TURN: The Grenada women’s beach volleyball team was mistakenly taken by a bus driver to Brisbane after a GPS malfunction. Renisha Stafford and Thornia Williams ended up at the shooting venue in Chandler, an outer suburb of the state capital. That’s a distance of about 100 kilometres (60 miles) out of their way in each direction. The Grenadians were quickly brought back to Coolangatta but ended up losing their match to Scotland. Games organizers said they regretted the mistake but that it didn’t have an impact on the result. “The players arrived in enough time to warm up and take the field ready to play,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

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CAMBAGE SCORES 24: Liz Cambage of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings scored 24 points to lead Australia to a 113-53 win over Mozambique in the Opal’s opening basketball game in Townsville, north Queensland. The 2.03-meter (6-foot-8) centre is a two-time Olympian but is playing the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

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MALARIA CASE: An athlete at the Commonwealth Games has been hospitalized after contracting malaria. Games organizers said the 23-year-old athlete had been admitted to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition. No further details of the athlete or country were released. Several athletes have fallen sick already at the games, including three from the same team with influenza. New Zealand rugby sevens player Ruby Tui was diagnosed with mumps earlier this week, so her team has not yet checked in to the athletes’ village.

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MAURITIUS OFFICIAL CHARGED: A former official of the Mauritius Commonwealth Games team has been charged with sexually assaulting an athlete. Queensland state police said the man had been charged with one count of sexual assault following a complaint from a 26-year-old woman in the athletes village last week.

The man will face Southport Magistrates Court on April 17.

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ON THE BEACH: Competition in beach volleyball, making its debut at the Commonwealth Games, began with New Zealand brothers Ben and Sam O’Dea beating Dimitris Apostolou and Georgios Chrysostomou of Cyprus. The Australian women’s team, gold-medal favourites Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, beat Mariota Angelopoulou and Manolina Konstantinou of Cyprus 21-14, 21-9.

The tournament is being played in a temporary stadium at Queen Elizabeth Park in Coolangatta, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the main games precinct and on the border with New South Wales state. Beach volleyball was one of the most popular sports at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and that enthusiasm has continued at the Commonwealth Games 18 years later, with the stadium sold out for all its games through to the finals on April 12.

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