There was Australian joy in both the men and women's marathon today (Sunday 27 July) in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games. Mike Shelley went one better than his Delhi silver medal in 2010 storming to a decisive victory in a PB of 2:11:15 while compatriot Jess Trengove finished third in the women's race behind the Kenyan one-two of Flomena Cheyech Daniel and Caroline Kilel.
Shelley produced a beautifully executed performance in a relatively slowly run championship race. It was a race however of excitement and drama and the big Glasgow crowds thrilled to see a 10 man pack contest most of the second-half of the race. And when it seemed that the East Africans - the Kenyan, Uganda and Tanzania teams were all prominent - were set to dominate, Shelley battled hard to stay in touch.
Just passed 35k, Kenya's Stephen Chemlany made a break from the the leading group which consisted of Shelley and the Ugandan pair of Abraham Kiplimo and Munyo Mutai. Only Shelley could stay in touch and when he came level with Chemlany an upset was on the cards. Shelley then turned the screw and Chemlany failed to respond. In the closing stages the 30-year-old Australian drew away to score a stunning success.
Earlier big crowds along the course had enjoyed England's Steve Way taking an early lead, gasped at the drama of fancied Ugandan Kiplimo messing a drinks stop and falling over, and the black and red vests of Kenya and the yellow and red of Uganda come to the fore on the second lap.
But on a wet, sometimes, gloomy Glasgow morning it was the winning smile of the clearly ecstatic Shelley that brightened the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon showpiece.
It was a more regular script in the women's race which was dominated by the Kenyan pairing of Flomena Cheyech Daniel and Caroline Kilel. On the second lap they cruised through Pollok Park as if they were enjoying a Sunday morning long run. However it was Daniel who prevailed, upping the tempo over the final two kilometres to finish in 2:26:45, 25 seconds ahead of Kilan.
There was another well-judged race from an Australian as Jess Tengove made up lots of ground over the last few miles to overhaul the long-time third-placed Namibian runner
Scotland's Derek Hawkins (2:14:15) was fastest Briton in the men's race in 9th place with Susan Partridge (2:32:18) first UK woman in 6th.