Launceston teenager Ariarne Titmus claimed Tasmania’s sixth gold medal of the Commonwealth Games and her first in an individual event.
Adding to her 200-metre silver and 4x200m relay gold medals, the 17-year-old freestyle specialist dominated the 800m to top an all-Australian podium.
“It’s amazing,” she said after clocking 8:20.02 to lead home compatriots Jessica Ashwood and Kiah Melverton.
“After seeing the boys go 1-2-3 in the backstroke I thought there might have been a chance for us and it’s really exciting.
“I wanted to go a bit faster than that but at a big meet like this it’s about racing and I’m glad that I could be first to touch the wall.”
The former Riverside and Launceston Aquatic swimmer said her successes, which included third and fourth-place finishes at world championships in Hungary and a clean sweep of 200, 400 and 800m titles at nationals, vindicated her decision to relocate from Launceston to Brisbane where she is coached by Dean Boxall at St Peters Western.
“It’s exciting. When I moved to Dean a couple of years ago, to think I’d be in this position, I’d probably think I was dreaming. I have worked so hard to be here and I am glad it’s paid off,” she said.
“I think my individual gold means a lot more than relay gold – to know you have done it yourself.
“Obviously being in the relay team is great, but I think the satisfaction of being a Commonwealth champion is really exciting and I’m happy that I could perform well tonight.”
In her post-race interview with Channel Seven, Titmus was shown vision of her grandparents celebrating her win from the stands of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
“That’s my mum’s parents, they came to Budapest and are so excited to be here and it’s great to have them watching,” she said.
“On another sensational day for Tasmanian sport, Invermay’s Rebecca Van Asch and her women’s four teammates had earlier claimed Australia’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal in 12 years and Hobart’s Kaity Fassina won silver in the 90-kilogram weightlifting.
The latest successes bring Tasmania’s medal tally to nine – six gold and three silver.
Titmus will hope to make it four medals from as many events in the 400m on Tuesday.
The Australian record-holder in the distance, she is scheduled to race the last of three heats at 10.43am with the final at 7.37pm.
Chris Goulding and Lucas Walker were in the Boomers squad scheduled to play Nigeria late on Monday and should be back in action at the Cairns Convention Centre in qualifying finals on Tuesday.
Eddie Ockenden, Jeremy Edwards and their Kookaburra teammates are scheduled to play Canada at 4.30pm, Van Asch’s women’s triples campaign continues against India at 4pm and hammer thrower Danielle McConnell faces her final at 8.40pm.
TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE (TUESDAY APRIL 10)
10.31am 400m freestyle heats
(Titmus, GC Aquatic Centre)
4pm: Bowls, women’s triples,
Australia v India (Van Asch, Broadbeach BC)
4.30pm Hockey, Australia v
Canada (Edwards, Ockenden, GC Hockey Centre)
5.30pm and 8pm Basketball,
qualifying finals (Goulding, Walker, Cairns Convention Centre)
7.37pm 400m freestyle final
(Titmus, GC Aquatic Centre)
8.40pm women’s hammer final
(McConnell, Carrara Stadium)