Australia has completed a highly successful Pan Pac campaign in the pool in Tokyo tonight winning eight gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals –for a total 27 medals across four days in the 2020 Olympic city.
The Dolphins added to their tally with two gold to Cate Campbell in the 50 metres freestyle and the women’s 4x100m medley relay of Emily Seebohm, Jessica Hansen, Emma McKeon and Campbell, ensuring Australia's women swept all three relays at the packed Tatsumi International Aquatic Centre.
Campbell reeled in American Simone Manuel in the final leg as Australia clocked a new Championship record of 3 minutes, 52.74 seconds - touch outside the Commonwealth and Australian records – to win five gold medals from five swims.
Campbell had begun the night with gold No.4, dominating the 50m freestyle also in a Championship record (23.81 seconds) to fall agonisingly 0.14 short of Sarah Sjostrom’s world mark while Australia's Emma McKeon claimed bronze in a personal best time of 24.34, the fourth fastest time ever by an Australian.
McKeon, the top medallists in Rio (2016) and Hungary (2017) again won the most medals – six – four gold and two bronze.
Australia finished second to world No.1 US who won 18 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze.
Campbell has clearly regained her confidence at her first meet against the Americans since her shock sixth placing in the Rio 100m final that prompted her to take 2017 off.
"I think that this team has performed way beyond expectations and we've really stuck it to people," she said.
"It just goes to show the grit, determination and the spirit that is really alive in the team and it is wonderful to be a part of it again."
Australian head coach Jacco Verhaeren believed Australia were "on the right track" thanks to standout performances by Campbell, Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers, rising star Ariarne Titmus and their women's relay teams in Tokyo.
At this week's Pan Pacs, Chalmers defeated world champion Caeleb Dressel to claim 100m freestyle gold and 17-year-old Titmus kept Olympic champion Katie Ledecky honest to win 800m freestyle silver.
"I think a meet like this creates belief in people. You can really see we are competitive and in some cases winning the close races. It is about these close races so that's good to see," Verhaeren said.
Meanwhile, Australia's Kiah Melverton took silver after world and Olympic champion Ledecky cruised to 1500m gold.
In the men's 200m breaststroke final, Zac Stubblety-Cook (2:07.89) won silver and Australian teammate Matthew Wilson (2:08.22) bronze – both in personal best times.
Jack McLoughlin claimed 800m freestyle bronze, with Mack Horton surprise fifth – McLoughlin in a personal best of 7:47.31 – a time only bettered by Grant Hackett, Mack Horton, Ian Thorpe and Kieren Perkins.
The Australian men's medley team of Mitch Larkin, Jake Packard, Grant Irvine and Kyle Chalmers fought to the end in a fitting finale to an exciting race –going down by two touches to the USA and Japan -3:30.20, 3:30.25 and 3:30.52.
Rising star Kaylee McKeown and World champion Emily Seebohm were close up fifth and sixth in the women's 200m backstroke final Larkin was just 0.02 away from bronze in the men’s 200m backstroke.
Backstroke champions Kylie Masse of Canada and American Ryan Murphy were named swimmers of the meet.
The 10km marathon open water featuring Kareena Lee (fourth in the 1500m freestyle tonight), Chelsea Gubecka and Nick Sloman will be swum Tuesday at Tateyama.