It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3

Published 6:13am 1 August 2022

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Words by Nick Crockford

Our region is celebrating two more Commonwealth Games medals after a dramatic 75 minutes in the pool this morning.

Kaylee McKeown (picture Delly Carr), born in Redcliffe, schooled in Caboolture and trained at Burpengary, won her first Games gold in the women’s 100m backstroke.

An hour earlier Blake Cochrane, the former Southern Cross swimmer, bowed out of major championships with a bronze medal in the men’s SB8 100m breaststroke.

In between, Taylor McKeown, Redcliffe born and schooled while also training in Burpengary, retired from international swimming with sixth in the 100m breaststroke.

Close finish

The pressure was on Kaylee McKeown with Olympic silver medallist Kylie Masse, of Canada, qualifying for the final in a faster time.

But McKeown, who pipped Masse to the Olympic gold last year, did the same this morning winning a thrilling race in 58.60 seconds to Masse’s 58.73.

McKeown used her trademark fast finish to overhaul Masse in the last 30 metres and land the first Commonwealth Games medal of her career.

“I was looking for a little bit faster, but you have to take the positives,” she told Channel 7 pool side interviewer Cate Campbell.

“But it was way better than the last Comm Games, so can’t ask for much more.”

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Blake Cochrane. Picture Delly Carr, Swimming Australia

Blake Cochrane, who won gold in the SB8 100m breaststroke in Glasgow 2014, started his final race at this level well and was second after 25m.

But the Sunshine Coast-based swimmer slipped back one place and was never threatened for bronze, stopping the clock at 1 minute 18.97 seconds.

New Zealand’s Joshua Willmer, 17, pipped Aussie Tim Hodge to gold in the final stroke just by .07 of a second – Willmer finishing in 1:14.12 to Hodge’s 1:14.19.

Fitting finale

The first member of Australia’s team to embrace Cochrane on his lap of honour following the medal ceremony was Brenden Hall, from Mango Hill. The duo started their major international careers together at Bejing in 2008.

Fitting tributes were also paid to Cochrane by Channel 7 commentators before the race after a career laden with medals at the Paralympics, World and Commonwealth Games.

He is the first Australian Para-swimmer to compete at four Commonwealth Games winning five medals across freestyle, individual medley and breaststroke at the Delhi 2010 (bronze), Glasgow 2014 (bronze) and Gold Coast 2018 Games (silver and bronze).

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Taylor McKeown who had her last international race this morning. Picture Swimming Australia

Bowing out

Forty minutes later, Redcliffe-born Taylor McKeown, older sister of Kaylee, also bowed out of international competition.

The 27-year-old, who won this event in Glasgow 2014, swam almost three seconds faster than her heat, but was out of the medals in 2 minutes 25.5 seconds.

Tatjana Schoenmaker, of South Africa, won in 2:21.92 with Australia's Jennah Strauch second in 2:23.65.

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Jess Turnbull in action at Birmingham. Picture courtesy Commonwealth Games Australia

Fine start

Bald Hills resident Jess Turnbull, picture courtesy Commonwealth Games Australia, made a winning start to the Commonwealth Games’ Women’s Singles at the weekend.

In the Round of 32, Turnbull beat Colette Sultana of Malta 3-1 (11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7) which lined-up a clash with England’s Lucy Turmel, who is world ranked 52.

Turnbull, 27, went down 3-1 (1-11, 11-13, 11-9, 4-11) but is still scheduled to play in the women’s doubles with Alex Haydon, from South Australia.

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Lachlin Dalton, from Woody Point, in possession during Australia's victory over Canada in the wheelchair basketball. Picture Commonwealth Games Australia.

Woody Point resident Lachlin Dalton scored three points but the Australian wheelchair basketball team went down 11-9 to Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games this morning.

Dalton, who plays at Mt Gravatt, and his colleagues beat Canada 13-11 in their opening Pool B match at the weekend.

It's gold and bronze - Commonwealth Games Day 3
Renee Taylor who helped Australia to another victory

Former Redcliffe junior Renee Taylor made her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos in their opening 8-0 victory over Kenya at the Commonwealth Games.

Taylor, who was born in Everton Park, contributed one assist and then helped the Hockeyroos to a 5-0 victory this morning over South Africa.

The 25-year-old spent two years with Redcliffe Leagues Hockey Club’s Under 11 team before joining to Kedron Wavell, Commercial and making her Hockeyroos debut in 2015. 

She was in the Australian team which made the quarter-finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Tonight's action:

Swimming

Kaylee McKeown:

Women’s 200m backstroke

Heat 2 7.34pm Monday August 1

Women’s 200m Individual medley

Heat 2 8.31pm Monday August 1

Netball

Stephanie Wood:

Pool A – Australia v South Africa Monday August 1, 9pm

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