Australia produced a blistering performance to win the women's 4x100m freestyle title ©Getty Images

Australia's 4x100 metres women's freestyle relay team produced a blistering display to break the world record as the English team delivered a performance fit for the watching Prince Charles on the opening night of swimming finals at the Commonwealth Games here.

England's Thomas Hamer was also in world record-breaking form as he lowered his own mark in the men's S14 200m freestyle before the crowning moment for the host nation came in the final race of the evening at the open-air venue.

Shayna Jack, Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell clocked 3min 30.05sec, bettering the time they set during their victorious relay race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

England had been the dominant nation here today as Hamer's triumph was one of four titles claimed by the country.

Mack Horton delivered hosts Australia's first gold medal of the Games as he cruised to the men's 400m freestyle crown.

Horton's success was widely-expected but Taylor Ruck of Canada's victory in the women's 200m freestyle was anything but as she stunned the rest of the field and signalled the bright future she has ahead of her by touching the wall in first place.

Aimee Willmott set the tone for what proved to be a golden evening for the English squad as she banished her Glasgow 2014 demons by topping the podium in the women's 400m individual medley.

Mack Horton claimed Australia's first gold medal at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images
Mack Horton claimed Australia's first gold medal at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images

In a thrilling race played out in front of the Prince of Wales, Willmott, second in Glasgow four years ago, dethroned defending champion Hannah Miley of Scotland in a time of 4:34.90.

Blair Evans got the Australian swimming medal tally up and running with bronze.

Horton, one of the star attractions of the swimming events here, took his place on the starting block in the 400m freestyle with the hopes of the host nation on his shoulders.

Fortunately for the considerable crowd inside the venue, the 21-year-old was in no mood for disappointment as he cruised to the gold medal in 3:43.76.

Horton led home an Australian one-two as Jack McLoughlin was second, while England's James Guy took bronze.

Ruck, a double Olympic bronze medallist, was expected to play second fiddle to the duo of McKeon and Arianne Titmus but she upstaged the Australian pair by clocking a Commonwealth Games record time of 1:54.81.

Titmus was narrowly adrift in silver medal position, finishing in 1:54.85, while McKeon had to settle for bronze.

Hamer came into the men's S14 200m freestyle - the first Para race of the swimming programme - as the overwhelming favourite and he duly delivered, breaking his own world record in 1:55.88.

Liam Schluter and Daniel Fox of Australia claimed the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The English charge then continued when a visibly emotional Eleanor Robinson clinched the women's S7 50m butterfly title in 35.72.

Robinson, the Paralympic champion in the S6 classification over the same distance and discipline, beat Sarah Mehain of Canada.

A bronze medal was not awarded in the event owing to the small number of entrants as only four women competed in the race.

A second surprise triumph for an English athlete over a Scottish rival followed as defending champion Ross Murdoch relinquished his men's 200m breaststroke crown to England's James Wilby.

Wilby timed his surge for the wall to perfection with a rapid last 25m, propelling him to a gold medal in a time of 2:08.05.

Murdoch, a double European champion and World Championships relay gold medallist, earned silver and the bronze medal went to Matt Wilson of Australia.

Thomas Hamer of England broke his own world record in the men's S14 200m freestyle ©Getty Images
Thomas Hamer of England broke his own world record in the men's S14 200m freestyle ©Getty Images

For the home crowd, the best was saved until last as Australia's relay quartet stormed to the gold medal to maintain their stranglehold of the event at the Commonwealth Games.

It proved to be somewhat of a procession for McKeon, Jack and the two Campbells as it quickly became apparently that no other team in the field could catch them.

They were on world record pace throughout large periods of the race and eventually finished comfortably ahead of the Canadian team of Alexia Zevnik, Kayla Sanchez, Penny Oleksiak and Ruck.

Siobhan Marie O'Connor, Freya Anderson, Anna Hopkin and Eleanor Faulkner of England did enough for the bronze medal.