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Scots celebrate quick-fire double gold

Written by: Staff
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MELBOURNE, Mar 16 (Reuters) Scotland were celebrating their greatest night in Commonwealth Games swimming history when two unheralded university students both won gold medals in less than an hour today.

It was the first time Scotland had enjoyed such success in the pool in a single session at the Commonwealths.

Caitlin McClatchey upset Australia's Libby Lenton in the women's 200 metres freestyle final then David Carry pulled off another stunner in the men's 400m freestyle to leave the Scots on top of the swimming medals table after the first day of competition.

The Scots' extraordinary success doubled their entire gold medal haul from the pool at the 2002 Manchester Games where Alison Sheppard claimed the nation's only title in the 50m freestyle.

''It's fantastic, I'm just so proud to be a Scot,'' McClatchey told Reuters.

''I think it's going to lift everyone, everyone's confidence is just going to be raised completely.'' Lenton, who holds the world record for the 100m and is the reigning 50m world champion, went into today's final as the overwhelming favourite to win the first leg of her ambitious bid to win seven golds.

The Australian set off at a cracking speed, tearing through the first lap under world record pace and was still ahead when she turned for home.

PERFECT RACE But Lenton, a specialist sprinter, was unable to shake off McClatchey, who swam a perfect tactical race to mow her down in the final few strokes and win in a time of one minute 57.25 seconds.

''I know she's a sprinter so I just tried to go out with her and try and keep in her shadow because I knew she was going to go out very fast,'' said McClatchey, a 20-year-old who was born in England but races for the birthland of her parents.

''I thought if I don't do that then I'm not in contention in the race so I just tried to keep with her and try push ahead on the last length.'' Carry overtook Welshman David Davies on the penultimate lap and surged clear to win in a time of 3:48.17 to end Australia's long domination of the eight-lap event after world record holder Ian Thorpe and reigning world champion Grant Hackett both withdrew from the Games because off injury and illness.

Australian head coach Alan Thompson said he had been impressed by Scotland's strong start.

''We have not seen them on top for while, it's great for them,'' he said.

REUTERS PDS RN1850

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