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Welsh takes backstroke gold

31 July 2002

Australia’s world champion Matt Welsh set a new Games record as he clinched the inaugural men’s Commonwealth 50m backstroke final.

Matt Welsh

Matt Welsh - Manchester 2002 champion

Welsh proved his worth by taking the gold medal after Malaysia’s Alex Lim looked certain to take victory. Lim (25.67) was leading with less than ten metres to go, but Welsh just stole in to take the title with a time of 25.65.

Welsh, who is going for three more medals at Manchester 2002 said afterwards: “I didn’t realise it was as close as it was, but I did it, that was all I needed.”

South Africa’s Gerhard Zandberg took the bronze with a time of 25.89. Canada’s Riley Janes(26.05) faded into fourth after leading early on.

Martin Harris, the oldest member of England’s swim team at 33, finished seventh in what could be his last appearance in a major final.

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