Australia's 13-year-old swimming prodigy Jennie Turrall won her first gold medal in the women's 400 metres freestyle in the Commonwealth Genes at Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday (February I).
GV Turrall wins women's 400 metres freestyle (3 shots)
CU Turrall being congratulated (2 shots)
SV Turrall being presented with gold medal
GVs Wendy Cook wins women's backstroke (3 shots)
GVs Leigh wins men's breaststroke (3 shots)
Initials BB/0442 TA/DW/BB/0518
SPORT: COMMONWEALTH GAMES
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Background: Australia's 13-year-old swimming prodigy Jennie Turrall won her first gold medal in the women's 400 metres freestyle in the Commonwealth Genes at Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday (February I).
The win made up for her surprising defeats in the 1,500 metres and 800 metres.
Australia and Canada have been having a battle royal in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium pool and Canada's 17-year-old Wendy Cook -- who broke the world record for the 100 metres backstroke on Thursday (31 January) -- matched Turrall'ls gold by effortlessly winning the women's 400 metres backstroke.
England -- not known for its strength at swimming -- won one unlikely gold medal. Student David Leigh held onto his lead with a powerful finish to hold off Scotland's world record holder, David Wilkie, in the 100 metres breast stroke final. Wilkie, who has already won two golds at the Games, had to settle for a silver medal. Another Englishman Paul Naisby took the bronze.
SYNOPSIS: The last lap of the women's four hundred metres freestyle at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. Australia's thirteen-year-old prodigy Jennie Turrall had only to hold onto to her lead to win her first gold medal. But Canada -- who have had a battle royal with Australia for the swimming medals throughout the competition -- challenged again through Wendy Cook. Turrall was widely predicted to win all the freestyle events, but she was defeated in the fifteen hundred and eight hundred metres. This time she made it.
Not only did she win the gold medal -- she also set a new Games record of four minutes twenty-two seconds. The late success clearly made up for the disappointment. Canada's Wendy Cook was second and New Zealand's Janie Parkhouse third.
Canada won two swimming relay golds during the day and hoped to reply to Jennie Turrall's record with another by Wedny Cook in the backstroke. Cook broke the world record over one hundred metres the night before. She was on schedule for another world record on the last lap of the two hundred metres with Australia's Sandra Yost and Canadian teammate Donna Marie Gurr fighting it out behind her. Cook, a seventeen-year-old high school girl, needed to beat two minutes nineteen point one second for the world record, and two minutes twenty point three one for the Commonwealth record.
She eventually missed both records, but by the narrowest of margins. Australia's Sandre Yost was second and by the finish Canada's Donna Maria Gurr only just beat Australia's Sue Lewis to the bronze medal.
In the men's hundred metres breaststroke David Leigh in the cap was surprisingly well placed alongside Scotland's double gold medal winning favourite, David Wilkie, at the start of the last lap. The two had raced against each other often but seventeen year-old Leigh had never managed to beat the talented Scot. The finish was fast.
Leigh held on to win in a personal best time. A disappointed Wilkie finished two seconds outside his Commonwealth record time of one minute five.