THERE was double celebration for Sheffield’s Ellie Faulkner as she and room-mate Holly Hibbott both made the podium on the final night of swimming.
Faulkner was fourth in the 400m freestyle four years ago in Glasgow, and missed out on a podium by a single place in the 200m freestyle earlier this week.
However, in her last chance at an individual medal in the longer event, she held on for a well-deserved bronze.
While home favourite Ariarne Titmus raced to gold in 4:00.93 to become the sixth fastest woman in history, Hibbott and Faulkner made sure there was double English representation on the podium in second and third, respectively.
It was made all the more special by the fact the two are sharing a room in Australia.
Faulkner said: “We share a room so we’re always pushing each other one and bouncing off each other. That was another reason we wanted to get on that podium together.
It’s been a long time coming. Last Commonwealth Games I came fourth and was determined to come in and get a medal so to come away with a bronze – even a bit off my PB – I’m really happy.Ellie Faulkner
“It’s been a long time coming. Last Commonwealth Games I came fourth and was determined to come in and get a medal so to come away with a bronze – even a bit off my PB – I’m really happy.
“I was determined to not let it be a fourth. If I had to kill myself the last 50 I was going to do it. I was determined not to come fourth especially after coming fourth in the 200. Fourth is not where I want to be, you want to be on the podium.
“I could see Holly but other than that I wasn’t thinking about it. I saw one of the girls to my left and thought ‘she’s coming’ but I wasn’t going to let her have it. I’m just over the moon.”
Once more Australia dominated the action in the pool, with Advance Australia Fair seemingly blaring out on a loop.
But after the hosts had managed a clean sweep of the medals over 800m free on Monday, Faulkner and Hibbott were desperate to avoid a repeat in the shorter event.
Faulkner added: “We were determined to not let them (Australia) get 1-2-3, we were saying this afternoon: ‘we’re not letting this happen today’. When we saw it yesterday we said we have to beat them next time.”
Elsewhere there was disappointment for Pontefract’s Joe Litchfield and Doncaster’s Jarvis Parkinson in the 200m individual medley as they missed out on a place in the final.
Litchfield was just half a second off the top eight, but despite missing out, was upbeat at what he could take from the meet.
He said: “It’s all about experience and for me it’s about Tokyo and Birmingham in four years. It’s a bump in the road on what will hopefully be a good career.”
Ben Proud successfully defended his men’s 50m freestyle title but could not double up as England were pipped to another gold by Australia in the 4 x 100m medley.
Proud set Games records in the freestyle heat and in the semi-final and clocked 21.35 seconds to take gold ahead of South Africa’s Bradley Tandy.
In the final race of the night Proud was bidding to bring England home but Kyle Chambers overhauled him in the final stroke.
Georgia Davies took women’s 50m backstroke bronze behind Australia’s Emily Seebohm, and there was more to come for Wales as Dan Jervis, the part-time painter and decorator, took silver in the men’s 1500m freestyle.
Davies, Chloe Tutton, Alys Thomas and Kathryn Greenslade picked up bronze in the women’s 4 x 100m medley.
It turned into a night of frustration at the athletics as England’s world champion Andy Pozzi could only finish sixth in a 110m hurdles final won by Jamaica’s Ronald Levy.
Melissa Courtney picked up bronze for Wales in the women’s 1500m, won by Caster Semenya.
At the shooting, David Phelps took gold in the 50m Rifle Prone, and England’s Parag Patel and David Luckman won gold in a Queen’s Prize Pairs shooting.
Birtley twin brothers Luke and Pat McCormack guaranteed at least boxing bronze medals with victories in their respective light-welterweight and welterweight categories.
Sam Ward bagged a hat-trick as England came from 2-0 down to beat Wales 3-2 and book their place in the men’s hockey semi-finals.
England triumphed over Scotland in the beach volleyball quarter-finals; Scotland set up a men’s basketball semi-final against hosts Australia with a 66-61 win over Nigeria, but England are out following a 97-79 loss to Canada.
World champion Tom Daley’s bid for a third successive Commonwealth 10m platform title is over after he withdrew from the individual event due to a hip injury.
Ellie Faulkner interview in association with npower, the official partner of Team England. Visit npower.com/teamengland