Australians head home to face U.S. challenge at PanPacs

Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:45pm EDT
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GLASGOW (Reuters) - Two years on from a disappointing Olympic campaign, Australia's swim team head into next month's showdown with the United States at the Pan Pacific Championships with confidence following a record medal haul at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The Australians, who won just one gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, earned 57 medals at the Tollcross Swimming Centre, 19 of them gold.

The Olympic champion women's 4x100 freestyle relay team also broke the world record in the final, eclipsing one of the marks set during the 'supersuit' frenzy at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

The team had downplayed any pre-Games hype, pointing out that while Britain was divided into its component parts, they still had a strong swimming program and would be buoyed by enthusiastic local crowds.

Emma Mckeon topped the individual tally for Australia with four golds and two bronze medals, while world 100 freestyle champion Cate Campbell won three golds and a silver. She also anchored the 4x100 freestyle relay team to their world record.

Double world 100 freestyle champion James Magnussen, who finished second in London in the blue riband event behind American Nathan Adrian, also banished his demons from British pools by clinching two golds.

He held off young team mate Cameron McEvoy, who had beaten him at the nationals, in 48.11 seconds, the fourth-fastest time of the year.

The team's success was a far cry from the scandal that enveloped them after London with an inquiry unveiling revelations of sleeping pill abuse, drunkenness and mismanagement.

Team management instigated a 'dry' Commonwealth Games policy and they have little time to celebrate their success anyway.   Continued...

Australia's gold medalist Cate Campbell (C) along with compatriots silver medalist Bronte Campbell (L) and bronze medalist Emma Mckeon, pose with their medals in the women's 100m Freestyle final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young