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McKeon extends dominance

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — Australian swim sensation Emma McKeon won a record-extending 12th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Monday as cycling star Laura Kenny finished her campaign with an emotional gold.

It was another night of domination in the Birmingham pool for Australia, which now has 16 golds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre out of a possible 33.

McKeon, who powered home in the 50-meter butterfly, has now won four golds in Birmingham and has collected more overall gold medals than any other athlete in Commonwealth Games history.

The 28-year-old, who won seven medals at last year’s Tokyo Olympics — including four golds — touched in 25.90 seconds.

“I love a challenge,” McKeon said.

“Just having this huge workload is preparing me for Paris (2024 Olympics) and even though it’s hard workload physically, it’s just training my mind to be able to do that many races back to back.”

“I’m not going to have that many once I get to Paris. It’s just building that self-belief.”

Rising Canadian star Summer McIntosh, who is just 15, won her second gold of the Games, adding the women’s 200m individual medley title to her 400m IM crown.

Australia’s Kyle Chalmers won the men’s 100m freestyle final in 47.51 seconds after a 48-hour period that he described as “hell” as a result of intense speculation in the media over his relationships with team members.

Reports suggested a rift with McKeon and Cody Simpson, who is reportedly dating McKeon, Chalmers’s ex-girlfriend.

The 2016 Olympic champion said: “The lies and false truths getting put out there — it’s nowhere near the truth at all.”

“We are great friends and have great support. I am just grateful to be a part of the team and sharing that with every single team member.”

Australian Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown destroyed the field to win the women’s 200m backstroke and Australia rounded off the night in style by winning the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

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