Mack Horton has won Australia’s first gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, winning the 400m freestyle ahead of fellow Australian Jack McLoughlin.
England’s James Guy, who pushed the Aussies all the way, finished third. Horton recorded a time of 3:43.76, with McLoughlin following in 3:45.21.
It was the first time an Australian had won the event at the Comm Games since Ian Thorpe led another one-two with Grant Hackett in 2002.
Horton said the home crowd ensured the experience was special.
“Just swimming in front of the home crowd is unreal,” he said.
“I probably feel more emotion here than in Rio because the whole crowd is cheering for you. That didn’t happen so much in Rio. Ten thousand people cheering for you is pretty unreal.”
Moments later, Australia had its second gold, with the women’s 4,000m pursuit team scoring a convincing win over New Zealand in the final.
Alexandra Manly, Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Akudinoff and Amy Cure broke the Commonwealth Games record with a time of 4:15.214.
Rising star Ariarne Titmus was pipped in a thrilling dual with Canada’s Taylor Ruck (1:54.81) in the 200m freestyle final. Emma McKeon took bronze behind the two 17-year-olds.
Australia’s first medal of the games went to rising triathlon star Jake Birtwhistle, who claimed silver on Thursday afternoon.
South African Henri Schoeman won the event by a healthy eight seconds, with another Australian, Matt Hauser, just missing out on bronze to Scotland’s Marc Austin.
England’s highly-rated Brownlee brothers, Jonny and Alistair, who went one-two in Glasgow, missed out on the medals completely.
“One spot better would have been nice,” Birtwhistle told Channel 7 after the race.
“But it’s great to have that weight off my shoulders and have a good result.
“This is the start of something special, I think.”
Meanwhile, the Hockeyroos got off to a winning, but unconvincing start with a 1-0 over Canada.
Jodie Kennedy scored the goal with a penalty stroke in the second quarter against the 15th-ranked side in the world.
There are six golds up for grabs in the cycling and seven in the pool.
The Comm Games lose one of their brightest stars
Some success in the night sessions would help raise morale in the Australian camp after champion hurdler Sally Pearson announced she was withdrawing from the Games.
Pearson was forced out because of an Achilles tendon complaint and she confirmed her withdrawal at a media conference on the Gold Coast this afternoon.