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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK

Welsh wins by a whisker

By Charlie Henderson
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Matt Welsh won his first Commonwealth Games gold with victory in the men's 50m backstroke.

The Australian was contesting the lead from the moment he breached the water, but was pushed all the way by Malaysia's Alex Lim.

"There wasn't a point where I thought I couldn't keep going"
Matt Welsh

Welsh finished in a time of 25.65 seconds, breaking his own Commonwealth record, with Lim 0.02 seconds adrift.

"I didn't realise it was as close as it was," Welsh conceded. "But I did it, that was all I needed.

"I like to leave a little bit up my sleeve, so in this case I guess .02 was enough.

"I attacked and was aggressive. There wasn't a point where I thought I couldn't keep going. That is a good feeling."

Lim's silver was Malaysia's first swimming medal in the history of the Games.

South Africa's Gerhard Zanderberg finished in third to deny Canada's Riley Janes a medal.

It was the third time in as many races that Welsh had lowered the Commonwealth 50m backstroke record.

The 100m backstroke world champion is the most serious threat to Ian Thorpe's attempt for seven medals when the two meet in that distance.


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