BALLARAT'S Shayne Reese swam Australia to within one second of breaking its own world record on its way to gold in the 4x100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games last night.
Reese brought home the Australian team of Lisbeth Lenton, Jodie Henry and Alice Mills to secure a new Commonwealth Games time of 3mins 36.49, eclipsing the previous mark of 3:40.41.
In her only event for the Games, Reese set the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre alight when she headed the world record mark with 50 metres to travel.
However, the 23-year-old faded in the dying stages to finish just 0.55 seconds outside the record Australia set at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"If it (the world record) happened, it happened, but I just did my best," Reese said.
"I was a bit disappointed with my time. It started to hurt a bit, but I just started to focus on my stroke." Reese brought the team home in 55.03 seconds after Lenton (53.74), Henry (53.30) and Mills (54.42) put Australia more than
a second ahead of world record time. Reese's time was the fifth fastest of any competitor on the night.
"I love being part of this team. It's one of my goals to be on the team every year with these girls," she said.
Reese, of Carey Aquatic Club, said winning gold in front of her home crowd, which included parents Chris and Graeme and sister Stacey and grandmother Dot, made the occasion even more memorable.
"Everyone said Sydney was amazing but I wasn't there to experience it. I didn't know what it would be like in front of a home crowd," she said.
"The crowd was amazing. It was deafening."
But Reese claimed the noise disappeared once she hit the water.
"I didn't really hear the crowd. I don't know why because everyone else (in the team) heard it."
Reese, who had never led the team home before, has previously won gold with the 4x100m freestyle team at the World Championships in Montreal in 2005.
The relay specialist was also part of the 4x200m team which finished fourth in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The team's win came on another golden night for Australia's women.
Earlier, Leisel Jones sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy which she broke her own world record in the 100m breastroke in a time of 1:05.09.
The Australians also made clean sweeps of both the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke events.
Reese's relay team mates Lenton, Henry and Mills rounded out the freestyle trifecta, while Sophie Edington won her second backstroke gold medal ahead of team captain Giaan Rooney and Tayliah Zimmer.