Lauren Boyle wins Commonwealth Games gold

IAN ANDERSON IN GLASGOW
Last updated 09:31 30/07/2014
Lauren Boyle
ROBERT KITCHIN/ Fairfax NZ

GOLDEN SWIM: Lauren Boyle has become New Zealand's first Commonwealth champion in the women's 400m freestyle.

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The last thing Lauren Boyle had to do before bed - after putting her gold medal in a safe place - was set the alarm for a little after 5am.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist had a morning training session to attend, less than 12 hours after winning the women's 400 metres freestyle final at the Tollcross pool in Glasgow.

"I'm coming in for training at 6:15 tomorrow morning," she told assembled media soon after her medal ceremony.

"It's not a joke - I was kind of shocked myself."

Boyle and the rest of the New Zealand team were due to train for a couple of days in Glasgow, now that the six-day swim competition was over, before heading home to prepare for next month's Pan Pacific champs in Australia.

The 26-year-old collected silver the previous night in the 800m freestyle final when beaten by Jazz Carlin of Wales, but Boyle turned the tables this morning in a superbly-executed race. She took the lead at the halfway stage and won in a time of 4:04.47s.

Carlin finished 0.69 seconds behind and Australia's Bronte Barratt was third in 4:06.02.

"I wanted to make sure that I had a pretty strong first half of the race," Boyle said.

"But I knew I had to have something left to fight, because ... you know, I kinda got kicked in the arse in the last 100 [metres of the 800 final]."

Boyle was worried about the stiff task of backing up in such a strenuous programme, but was surprised with how her body coped.

"I didn't actually feel too bad tonight - I think maybe I was expecting it to be a little worse than it was.

"It was a pretty hard double - eight and a half minutes of full-bore racing last night and then heats this morning and finals tonight. I haven't done that for a few years."

PASCOE'S GOLDEN DOUBLE

Para-swimmer Sophie Pascoe won the the 200m individual medley SM10 final in dominant fashion today, recording a time of 2:27.74 to be over four seconds ahead of silver medallist Katherine Downie of Australia.

It was Pascoe's second gold medal at the Games after she won the 100m breaststroke SB9 two days ago and gave the New Zealand swim team four medals - three gold and a silver.

After a weepy celebration of her first gold, Pascoe was more composed this time.

"No tears today," she beamed, before admitting she'd struggled in Glasgow.

"There's been a few average times for me.

"I've been going through a few health issues this week, that's the way it happens. So it was pretty much going out there tonight and going for gold - which is what I did."

She wouldn't elaborate further, simply citing "a few personal issues".

"I believe that I've been through a few challenges this week, which has been really good.

''It's great to have the challenges two years out from Rio, which is obviously the focus for the next two years."

Boyle was ecstatic with her win, even if training impinged on heavy celebrations.

"This is kind of my celebration - I'm so happy right now

"I'll see my family after this and hang out for a few hours but I've got to get ready for the next competition. That's the life of an athlete."

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Any plans to swim in the morning with the gold medal on?

"I don't know - maybe it'll get me out of it."

- Stuff

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