Birchfield Harrier Kelly Sotherton set a personal best and equalled another to occupy the gold meal position after day one of the Commonwealth Games heptathlon.
England enjoyed a brilliant golden hat-trick on the third night of athletics in Melbourne - thanks to Dean Macey, Lisa Dobriskey and Christine Ohuruogu - and Sotherton will be aiming to follow them to the top of podium.
Though England team-mate Jessica Ennis took a surprise lead after running 13.32 seconds in the 100 metres hurdles and setting a new personal best of 1.91m in t he high jump, prechampionship favourite Sotherton hit back.
She clocked a personal best of 23.56secs in the 200m to end the day on 3,922 points, 73 ahead of her 20-year-old team-mate from Sheffield. Canada's Jessica Zelinka lies third, a further 25 points back.
Olympic bronze medallist Sotherton suffered an injury scare before the high jump, leaving the track for ten minutes to receive treatment. The 29-year-old returned with strapping to her leg but proceeded to equal her personal best of 1.85m.
"I had a bit of cramp in the high jump and the strapping is just a precautionary measure because I didn't want it to effect any of my other performances," said Sotherton.
"Today has gone all right, I'm a bit disappointed at the 200m time but it's still a personal best. I just moan at anything."
The remaining three events - the long jump, javelin and 800m - will be completed today.
Meanwhile, Macey over-came yet more injury problems to win decathlon gold.
Macey held a 187-point lead going into the second day of competition but, struggling with a hamstring problem, could only manage 14.94secs in the 110m hurdles and 46.76m in the discus.
A superb 4.70m in the pole vault eased his worries but the 28-year-old from Essex then injured his right arm with his first throw of 56.93m in the javelin and declined to take any more attempts.
Australian Jason Dudley threw a personal best of 69.27m to move into the lead by 37 points, but the Englishman was far quicker over the final event, the 1,500m, and finished almost 30 seconds ahead of Dudley to secure his first major championship.
"It's about time," said Macey, whose career has been blighted by injury since winning world championship silver in 1999. "This runs my wedding day close. I never ever thought I'd say that, it's fantastic.
"If I could get 20 medals made I would dish them out to my medical team. Three weeks ago I injured my ham-string and should never have been on the starting line. I know I said I was in good shape but I had to say that. I was trying to fool myself more than anyone else.
"I got out here and needed a miracle. Getting on the line was a miracle, finishing was another miracle.
"I'm proud of myself. For the first time I can pat myself on the back and say 'I'm the man'. It's taken a long time."
While Macey had been favourite for gold, Dobriskey's victory in the women's 1,500m was a major surprise.
Watched by Olympic double gold medallist and Commonwealth champion in 2002, Kelly Holmes, the 22-year-old from Ashford produced a superb sprint finish over the final 100m to beat Australia's Sarah Jamieson into second. Tullett took the bronze with England's Helen Clitheroe missing out on a medal in fourth.
"I can't believe it, it's just fantastic," said Dobriskey. "Coming off the last bend I thought I was going to get fourth.
"I could sense a few people were slowing so I thought 'just go for it'. It's brilliant to get England's first track gold medal, I'm really chuffed. It's a real honour."
Ohuruogu completed the golden treble in the 400m, setting a new personal best of 50.28s to leave world and Olympic champion Tonique Williams almost half a second behind.
The 21-year-old former netball international said: "I've been dreaming of this for a very long time and it's nice to put it all together and get the result I wanted.
"Now I am hoping I can make a name for myself. I've worked very hard for it."
There were also bronze medals for Mara Yamauchi in the 10,000m, Nadia Williams in the triple jump and Andrew Turner in the 110m hurdles. And Scotland's Chris Baillie took silver in the hurdles while Wales' Hayley Tullett won bronze in the 1,500m.