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The start of something extraordinary

Boyle, Pascoe strike golden double

Room-mates Lauren Boyle and Sophie Pascoe enjoyed a golden double act with gold medals on the final night of swimming at the Tollcross International Aquatic Centre.

Auckland’s Boyle bounced back from last night’s disappointment to win the women’s 400m freestyle gold medal. And, making the last evening of the swimming even more special, para-swimmer Pascoe picked up her second gold medal when she easily won the women’s 200m individual medley.

Boyle, the fastest qualifier, lagged behind for 150 metres, but once she made her move, she was very impressive.

By 200 metres she was in front and she pulled away remorselessly. Her time, 4min 04.47s, was a Games record. As a bonus, Boyle pushed into second place Jazz Carlin, the Welsh woman who pipped her for the 800m freestyle gold medal last night. Carlin finished in 4min 05.16s.

Boyle’s winning time was about half a second slower than she swam when winning a bronze medal in the same event at last year’s world championships.

“I’m really happy with that. I wanted to push out hard but I wanted to save something for the second half of the swim,” Boyle said. “I didn’t want to be like the 800m and not have anything left.

“The time was not that fast but the race plan went really well and I am surprised that I won by so much.

“It is really special and something I will always remember.”

There’s not much time for Boyle to enjoy her victory, with the team back in the pool for training at 6.15am as they look ahead to their next target, the Pan pacific Championships on the Gold Coast, which will be a sterner test with full strength teams from USA and Japan to go with Canada and Australia.

Pascoe, a Paralympics hero in 2008 and 2012, was far too good for the rest of the five-woman field and won in 2min 27.74s, giving her a margin of more than four seconds over second place.

“I have had a limited build-up and have had some personal health issues to deal with along the way, so I’ve not been at my best this week,” Pascoe said.

“So I was really pleased and surprised to be only two seconds off my world record tonight.

“It was a good swim and I wanted to go out on a good note.”

Like Boyle, Pascoe will target the Pan Pacific Championships, with the Para-Swimming event in Pasadena.

The men’s medley relay finished with a solid fifth place in the final in 3:36.80 in the event won by England in a Games record over Australia.

Corey Main had New Zealand in to third place after a 54.35s backstroke leg with Glenn Snyders again going under the minute in the breaststroke to hold third overall. Freestyler Steven Kent was press-ganged into the butterfly and his 53.45 had them in fourth and ultimately fifth after a 49.35 freestyle leg by Matthew Stanley.

In the men’s 200m individual medley, Mitchell Donaldson was not far off making the final. He was clocked at 2min 01.32s and was 10th fastest, missing a place in the final by 0.35s.