Adam Peaty set a Games record to defend his Commonwealth 100m Breaststroke title at the Gold Coast 2018.
The Olympic champion was red-hot favourite for his main event and delivered in style, leading from start to finish on the way to victory in 58.84.
James Wilby – who had already lifted the 200m Breast title in Australia – stormed home in the lane next to Peaty to take silver on a PB 59.43.
The pair became Team England’s first one-two in the pool at this Games, while Peaty delivered England’s seventh swimming gold in three days.
“Even though it’s a gold medal and four years undefeated, I’m not happy with that performance,” said Peaty, whose world record sits at 57.13 from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 23-year-old broke onto the international scene at the last Commonwealths in Glasgow in 2014 and has since dominated breaststroke sprint.
The Olympic champion did not get near his personal best in the Gold Coast this morning but he still finished in 58.84 seconds, a new Games record.
He said: “It’s only my third time swimming long course this season and it was all about the race, not time. Thankfully that’s four years unbeaten.
“I’m not sure what time I was at but I focused on the front end and once I got the anaerobic block in now I’ll be ready for the summer (and the European Championships).
“The Commonwealth year is always a difficult one because you’re against the best of the best but there were guys who kept me on my toes. It was nowhere near my PB but sometimes it’s about the race, holding yourself in the arena and enjoying it.”
James Wilby’s brilliant last 25m made sure of a England one-two as he overtook Cameron van der Burgh to take silver in a PB 59.43.
Adrian Moorhouse, the only man before now to win the Commonwealth Games 100m breast title twice but not in consecutive Games – admitted the winning gap was narrower than most had been predicting.
He said: “Gold as expected but maybe not with the dominance we expected. He’s got the European Championships in the summer and that’s what he’s building towards. Only nine people have ever swum under 59 seconds and he’s done it 27 times.”
Becky Adlington, on punditry duty for the BBC in Australia, expects Van der Burgh’s strong start to present a big challenge for Peaty in the 50m breaststroke, which starts tomorrow.
She said: “Adam has done so much work on his start and it’s so much better. It’s the first time I’ve seen Adam not quite at his best and struggling a little bit. Cameron will really challenge him in the 50m event later this week.
“Adam is such a racer and he’ll probably be quite grateful that someone is pushing him. He swam considerably slower than last year.
“And it’s funny that we’re all saying Adam isn’t at his best but he still won! He’s come away with gold.
“I’m still blown away with what he is achieving. He’s so special. We won’t see an athlete doing this for a very long time. We were a little bit nervous watching that but he’s still winning races, still stepping up back to back and taking titles.”