The Australians set a new Games record in qualifying, the slick 3mins 52.041 sec effort more than three seconds clear of second-placed England.
Wales had a day to remember when Anna Hursey, the Games' youngest competitor at just 11, won a doubles table tennis match in the women's team event against India, together with partner Charlotte Carey.
Australia's Pearson, the 100m hurdles world champion and a Gold Coast resident, earlier said she was in tears when she realised she had to withdraw, but added: "My health comes first."The former Olympic champion, 31, is the face of the Games but she said a long-standing Achilles' problem flared up two days ago and left her unable to clear hurdles in training".
Manly said the gold medal made for a dream debut.
After that, it was a waiting game - with capable teams from England and Canada to ride.
Meanwhile, the women's team will race for the gold medal in their event, after qualifying as the second fastest team.More news: Turkey, Russia, Iran commit to Syria's unity
India collected its first gold medal when Chanu Saikhom Mirabai won the women's 48-kilogram competition in a games record.
"I couldn't have asked for three better teammates who were riding with me but also Bec Wiasak and Georgia Baker who pushed us all the way and are a part of it as much as we are".
The World No. 10 Indian team, chasing its first CWG medal after the 2006 Melbourne Games silver, trailed the first 30 minutes of the match, scored a couple of goals in the third period to draw level before conceding one in the dying minutes of the match to end up on the losing side against their World No. 26 rivals.
"You always want to beat the Aussies, as I said they were always going to be the team to beat. My children think it's fantastic that I can come here and compete".
The New Zealand team followed Australia, and never looked like matching them.