Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington recovered from her own case of Delhi belly to win the 800-meter freestyle gold medal after a day of speculation about sick swimmers and the quality of the water in the Commonwealth Games pool.
A Jamaican man won the blue-ribbon 100 on the track later Thursday, even in the absence of world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Asafa Powell. Lerone Clarke won it in 10.12 seconds, with Mark Lewis-Francis of England taking silver in 10.20 and Aaron Armstrong of Trinidad and Tobago third in 10.24.
Australia's Sally Pearson, the Olympic hurdles silver medalist, crossed first in the women's 100 in 11.28 seconds after much confusion over a false start.
Pearson and Laura Turner appeared to false start. Turner was given a red card, but insisted on racing under protest. Osayemi Oludamola of Nigeria was second in 11.32, and Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines crossed third in 11.37. Even with that drama, the focus of the day was on the pool.
The British media reported that 20 percent of the England swim squad had been ill with a stomach virus. Australia confirmed at least "half a dozen" of its swimmers had been sick. There were inferences that the warmup pool was the common cause, but organizers were quick to assure teams that the water had been tested and the quality meet competition standards. Swimmers, including five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe, in New Delhi as a commentator for the BBC, played down any chance the pool water was a factor, saying the chlorine killed off the threat. England's team management issued a statement saying eight percent of the 541 people in its delegation, that's 43 people, have experienced some kind of mild stomach problems over the previous 28 days, which was lower than had been anticipated. Swim team spokesman Dave Richardson said the ratio of swimmers falling ill hadn't been any higher than other sports, adding that no swimmer had missed competition.
Regardless, it was still another negative connotation for an event that has been plagued with problems including long delays in venue construction, allegations of corruption and mismanagement and concerns over health and security amid a myriad of glitches. The Uganda delegation was angered when no official apology was offered after three of its officials were injured when a spiked security barrier malfunctioned and slammed into their car at the entrance to the athletes' village.
In the wake of all that, the aquatics program continued. Adlington, who won the 400 and 800 freestyle gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, held off South Africa's Wendy Trott over the last two laps to win the 800 in 8 minutes, 24.69 seconds. Alicia Coutts of Australia won her third individual gold of the games, adding the 100 butterfly title to her previous golds in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.
South Africans Chad le Clos and Natalie du Toit won the 400 IM and the Paralympic 100 S9 event respectively, each giving them two golds for the games.
Brent Hayden gave Canada another gold medal with victory in the 100 freestyle in 47.98 seconds. Simon Burnett of England was second in 48.54, while pre-race favorite and fastest qualifier Eamon Sullivan of Australia took the bronze in 48.69.
Hayden said he, too, had been affected by a stomach bug. "My Delhi belly's a little better today, I'm almost over it," Hayden said. "It's happening to everybody in all sports, it's a place we're not used to. If you can be comfortable being uncomfortable, that's great."
Canada continued its unbeaten streak in synchronized swimming at the Commonwealth Games when Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon won the solo competition, then teamed with Chloe Isaac to win the duet. Canada has never lost a synchro swim competition at the Commonwealth Games, winning 13 gold medals in 13 events since 1986. "It's my last chance to get a gold medal (before retirement), so I am really happy that I did well," Boudreau-Gagnon, who had 95.334 points, said after her solo win.
Australia has dominated the velodrome in New Delhi, sweeping the four gold medals Thursday to lift its track cycling tally to 10 of the 11 awarded so far.
World and Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares won the women's sprint for her third gold medal of the meet, while her teenage teammate Megan Dunn collected her second by winning the 10-kilometer scratch race.
The Australian quartet also won the men's team pursuit, defeating New Zealand, and Shane Perkins won the men's sprint.
There was some good news for organizers. The games, which run until Oct. 14, have also been plagued this week by sparse attendance at many events. Organizing committee chief Suresh Kalmadi said 125,000 tickets had been sold Wednesday for future events, allaying concerns about the empty seats at some of the venues.