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Australian swimmer Emma McKeon makes Commonwealth Games history with 11th gold

Kamahl Cogdon, August 1, 2022 8:59AM Kids News

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Emma McKeon celebrates after winning gold in the women’s 50m freestyle in Birmingham, the 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal of her career and the most of any Australian athlete. Picture: Michael Klein media_cameraEmma McKeon celebrates after winning gold in the women’s 50m freestyle in Birmingham, the 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal of her career and the most of any Australian athlete. Picture: Michael Klein


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Swimming ace Emma McKeon has become Australia’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete of all time after winning the 11th gold medal of her career this morning.

McKeon made history when she took out the women’s 50m freestyle. The victory put her ahead of Australian swimming greats Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones, who each have 10 Commonwealth Games golds.

“I just get in there and do my best,” McKeon said after her history making race. “Take each race one at a time. When I get in I want to win obviously, like everyone else in the race.

“I feel like I am a lot more relaxed this year than last year. I think the place that I am in mentally is showing in my performances.”

Swimming - Commonwealth Games: Day 3 media_cameraEmma McKeon shows of her 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal after victory in the women’s 50m freestyle at Birmingham. Picture: Getty Images

Australia is sitting at the top of the Commonwealth Games medal tally, with 22 golds among 52 medals won in the first three days of competition.

Team Australia added three gold medals to its haul* on day three of the action, including McKeon’s 50m freestyle gold.

Moments after her victory, the women’s 4 x 200m relay team powered home for gold and smashed the world record in the process.

Madi Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus combined to win the gold in 7min39.29sec, hacking more than a second off the previous world record set by China at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The final gold of day three went to Kaylee McKeown in the 100m backstroke.

media_cameraMatt Hauser was Australia’s first medallist of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, taking bronze in the men’s individual sprint distance triathlon on day one. Picture: AFP

Triathlete Matt Hauser had the honour of being the first Australian to win a medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games when he took home bronze in the men’s triathlon sprint distance final on the first day of competition.

Our first gold medal performance came from track cyclists Jess Gallagher and Caitlin Ward, who claimed victory in the women’s tandem* B sprint on day one.

They started a day one gold rush, with two more gold medals coming from the velodrome* – for the women’s 400m pursuit team and the men’s sprint team – and five from the pool.

media_cameraTrack cyclists Jess Gallagher and Caitlin Ward won Australia’s first gold medals of the Birmingham Games. Picture: Jon Veage

Our first gold in the pool went to Elijah Winnington in the 400m freestyle, while Titmus took gold in the women’s 200m freestyle in a Commonwealth Games record time of 1min:53.089sec.

Zac Stubblety-Cook won gold in the men’s 200m breastroke and Tim Hodge won his first Commonwealth Games gold in the para-swimming S9 100m backstroke in a Games record time of 1min01.88sec. The mixed 4x100m relay closed out the first night of swimming with more gold for Australia.

BESTPIX Swimming - Commonwealth Games: Day 1 media_cameraElijah Winnington won the first gold in the pool for Australia, claiming victory in the men’s 400m freestyle on day one of the Games. Picture: Getty Images

Team Australia added five more gold medals on day two, including in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

McKeon was part of this relay combination and the gold medal was the 10th of her Commonwealth Games career, drawing her level to previous record holders O’Neill, Thorpe and Jones.

The other day two golds went to the men’s 4x100m relay swimmers; Katja Dedekind, who set a world record in the women’s S13 50m freestyle; Madison de Rozario in the women’s T53/54 marathon in a Games record time of 1hour56min, and Jess Stenson in the women’s marathon.

Swimming - Commonwealth Games: Day 2 media_cameraKatja Dedekind set a world record in her gold medal swim in the women’s S13 50m freestyle final on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Getty Images

Along with our 22 golds, Australia has 13 silver medals and 17 bronze medals. Our medal total of 52 places us well ahead of nearest rival England with 34 medals, including 11 gold, and New Zealand with 19 medals, including 10 gold.

The Aussies topped the tally at the last Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, with 198 medals, including 80 gold.


  • haul: large amount of something that has been won
  • tandem: a bicycle with two sets and two sets of pedals for two riders
  • velodrome: an indoor race-cycling track with steep sides


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  1. How many medals in total has Australia won?
  2. How many gold medals has Australia won?
  3. How many Commonwealth Games gold medals has Emma McKeon won?
  4. Who won the first medal for Australia at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and in what event?
  5. Which country is in second place on the medal tally?


1. Interview with a medallist
What a performance from our gold medal winners! Imagine you are a sports presenter covering the Commonwealth Games and are given the task of interviewing one of the gold medallists following their winning performance. Make a list of questions you would ask.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education; Personal and Social Capability

2. Extension
What interview questions would you ask one of the competitors who did not win a medal? Remember to show sensitivity in your questioning as they are likely to be feeling disappointed.

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education; Personal and Social Capability

1. Athlete profile
It’s time to shine a spotlight on our Commonwealth Games athletes. Create a template for a character profile that you can fill in with all the information you want to know about some of our athletes. Make sure the layout has subtitles, and perhaps questions under each subtitle, to help you fill it in.

2. Extension
Let’s test your layout. Can you use the character profile layout and fill it in with information about yourself? Check to see if you have included enough categories. Will we learn a lot about you, or do you need to add more sections? Share your fact file with your class, so they can learn more about you.


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