Swimming queen Emma McKeon wins her 11th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games – the most by any athlete of all time

Swimming queen Emma McKeon wins her 11th gold medal at the Commonwealth Games – the most by any athlete of all time

Australia’s billiard queen Emma McKeon wins the most gold medals of any Commonwealth Games athlete ever with a victory in the 50m freestyle – overtaking her idols Ian Thorpe and Susie O’Neill

Australia’s Emma McKeon is the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history after winning the gold medal in the 50m freestyle in Birmingham.

The Wollongong Wonder claimed the 11th gold medal of their Commonwealth Games career with Sunday night’s triumph.

McKeon dwarfs the previous record for most Commonwealth gold medals – 10 – held by Australian swimmers Susie O’Neill, Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones.

“It’s really nice to be mentioned alongside some of those names, and I hope to be a part of that story for years to come,” McKeon said.

McKeon’s storied gold rush could continue as the Aussie is set to take part in a further four events in Birmingham

McKeon celebrates her historic 50m freestyle victory with bronze medalist and Australian teammate Shayna Jack

McKeon celebrates her historic 50m freestyle victory with bronze medalist and Australian teammate Shayna Jack

“They are the ones who inspired me when I was young. I remember seeing her on TV and it kindled the fire in me to be where I am now.”

McKeon’s 50m freestyle follows her previous victories in Birmingham in the women’s 4×100 freestyle mixed relay and 4×100 freestyle relay.

The 28-year-old collected four gold medals at both the 2018 Gold Coast Games and the 2014 edition in Glasgow.

“It’s something special. It makes me think of the last eight years since my first Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“I can see how far I’ve come as a person and as an athlete.

McKeon has a chance to add more gold to her Birmingham haul with expected swimming performances in four more events – about 50 minutes before her record-breaking freestyle, she was the fastest qualifier for the 50m butterfly final.

McKeon is also Australia’s most decorated Olympic gold medalist with 11 medals – five gold, two silver and four bronze.

And her breakthrough Commonwealth gold in the 50m freestyle came in an Australian medal win, with Meg Harris taking silver and Shayna Jack bronze.

McKeon won four gold medals at both the Glasgow 2014 Games and the 2018 Games on Queensland's Gold Coast - now her 50m free win (pictured) has catapulted her into the sporting record books

McKeon won four gold medals at both the Glasgow 2014 Games and the 2018 Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast – now her 50m free win (pictured) has catapulted her into the sporting record books

The 28-year-old and her partner, pop star Cody Simpson (pictured training) have been making headlines for months - but the distractions in the pool have not slowed her down

The 28-year-old and her partner, pop star Cody Simpson (pictured training) have been making headlines for months – but the distractions in the pool have not slowed her down

McKeon edged out her fellow Australians to win in 23.99 seconds, with the quick finish of Harris (24.32) beating Jack (24.36) for silver.

Also on Sunday night, Jenna Strauch (women’s 200m breaststroke) and Tim Hodge (men’s 100m breaststroke S8) contributed silver to Australia’s medal tally.

Hodge’s teammate Blake Cochrane won bronze in the final from New Zealand’s Josh Willmer.

Kyle Chalmers overcame all controversy outside of the pool to be the fastest qualifier for the men’s 100m freestyle final. Fellow Australians William Yang (third) and Zac Incerti (eighth) were also in contention for the medals.

Australia’s Bowen Gough was fourth and Brendon Smith was last in the men’s 200m butterfly final, won by another Kiwi, Lewis Clareburt.