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Best friends elated after ‘amazing’ gold medal race in Birmingham

August 2, 2022

Photo: Australian swim team (Mack Horton, Zac Incerti, Flynn Southam, Elihah Winnington)

What could be better than seeing a Bondy on stage at the Commonwealth Games? Two, side by side.

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

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

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

Southam, 17, was next in the group, holding on to Australia’s lead before Incerti withdrew from England and Wales.

Mack Horton stopped a fast-finishing UK Tom Dean to break the 2018 Australian record on the Gold Coast and take the Dolphins’ fourth straight win at the Commonwealth Games. Horton and Winnington were part of the team that won gold four years ago.

There was some drama after the race, but thankfully not for the Aussies. England faced silver loss after leaving the group before Gibraltar completed the relay, but in the end the host nation was not penalized. Scotland defeated Wales to secure third place.

Southam said he was overjoyed with his close-knit team.

“I’ve trained with Elia since I was eight or nine,” he said.

“And watching Mack do his thing from the time he started in 2016 and then with Zac, he’s had a rough week but man, that was the bravest dive.

“It’s damn great!”

Winnington lived up to his name and wished he’d finished even faster.

“My job today was to get the guys ahead of the game, it probably wasn’t as fast as I’d like,” said Winnington.

“Individually I was a little over half a second faster, but I did my best. It was my last dive and it was a big week, but I was happy to break my own race record with Mack from four years ago.”

In the final of the men’s 50 meter backstroke, Ben Armbruster finished seventh, New Zealander Andrew Jeffcoat took the gold.

After a strong start in the women’s 200m backstroke, Minna Atherton narrowly missed bronze after being caught by Scottish Katie Shanahan.

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

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 golds (4x100m relay, 4x200m relay)

Strauch: 1 silver (200m breaststroke)

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