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Best mates chuffed after ‘awesome’ gold medal race in Birmingham

August 2, 2022

Picture: Australian Swim Team (Mack Horton, Zac Incerti, Flynn Southam, Elijah Winnington)

What is better than seeing a Bondy on the podium at the Commonwealth Games? Two, standing side by side. 

It happened in Birmingham when Elijah Winnington and Flynn Southam added another gold medal to their haul after winning the 4x200m freestyle relay with teammates Zac Incerti and Mack Horton.  

The medal was Australia’s fifth gold on night four of racing at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre (early this morning our time). 

Winnington, a Bachelor of Business student, led the team out in lane four in front of a screaming crowd, putting Australia in the lead ahead of danger team England.  

Southam, 17, was next in the pool maintaining Australia’s lead before Incerti powered away from England and Wales.  

Mack Horton held off a fast-finishing Tom Dean from the UK to break Australia’s 2018 record from the Gold Coast, as well as clinch the Dolphins’ fourth consecutive relay win at the Commonwealth Games. Horton and Winnington were part of the team which won gold four years ago.   

There was some drama after the race, but fortunately not for the Aussies. England was faced with being stripped of silver after exiting the pool before Gibraltar finished the relay, but in the end the host country was not penalised. Scotland edged out Wales to secure third. 

Southam said he was over the moon for his close-knit team.  

“I have trained with Elijah since I was eight or nine,” he said.  

“And to watch Mack do his thing from when he started in 2016 and then with Zac, he’s had a tough week but man, that was the gutsiest swim.  

“It’s bloody awesome!” 

Living up to his name, Winnington wished he had finished even faster.  

“My job today was to just get the boys out to a good lead, it probably wasn’t as fast as I like to go,” said Winnington.  

“I was a bit over half a second faster in my individual, but I gave it my best. It was my last swim and it’s been a big week, but I was happy to break my own games record with Mack from four years ago.” 

In the men’s 50m backstroke final Ben Armbruster finished seventh, New Zealand’s Andrew Jeffcoat claimed gold.  

After a strong start in the women’s 200m backstroke, Minna Atherton narrowly missed out on clinching bronze after being pipped by Scotland’s Katie Shanahan. 

In the women’s 100m breaststroke final, Jenna Strauch finished fourth in her semi and will race in the final tomorrow morning our time.  

Southam is back in the pool tonight for the 50m freestyle heats before the semi-finals tomorrow morning.  

The Dolphins currently have a collection of 16 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze.  

Winnington: 2 gold (400m freestyle, 4x200m relay) 1 bronze (200m freestyle) 

Southam: 2 gold (4x100m relay, 4x200m relay) 

Strauch: 1 silver (200m breaststroke)