Kemar Bailey-Cole and Blessing Okagbare claim Commonwealth 100m titles as England’s Adam Gemili stays strong for silver
Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole recovered from a poor start to claim Commonwealth 100m gold on Monday evening as England’s Adam Gemili powered out of the blocks to claim silver for his first senior major medal.
After running 10.15 the day before to go quickest in the heats, Gemili had remarked how he thought he would need to dip under the 10 second barrier for the first time in order to claim gold and he wasn’t wrong as Bailey-Cole ran 10 seconds dead after having pulled away in the last 10 metres in front of an electric Hampden Park crowd.
Gemili’s strong start set him up well and the 20-year-old later said how the crowd had given him “goosebumps and that extra energy to hang on and win silver” as he clocked 10.10 ahead of Bailey-Cole’s team-mate Nickel Ashmeade who ran 10.12 for bronze.
“I had one of the best starts I’ve had in a long time,” said European under-23 champion Gemili. “I did tighten up toward the end of the race and I was lucky to hang on for a silver medal – but I’m happy with that for now and maybe I can improve with a gold in future.”
Jamaican athletes filled two of the top three spots in the women’s 100m final too, though it was Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare on top as the Olympic long jump bronze medallist dominated to clock a 10.85 Games record. The only athlete to go sub-11 seconds, she was comfortably clear of Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart, the Jamaicans running 11.03 and 11.07 respectively to claim the minor medals.
Just behind them was England’s Asha Philip who took a hundredth of a second off her personal best with 11.18 as her team-mate Bianca Williams ran 11.31 for sixth.
“The crowd was amazing,” said Okagbre. “Winning gold here takes the pressure off a little but doesn’t mean I sit down and not do any more. I still have to work hard and stay on top of my fitness.”
Entered for a total of four events at the Games, she added: “I have the 200m and relay to come. As for the long jump, I’m not sure about that.”
Another athlete to delight the crowds was Libby Clegg who won Scotland’s first athletics gold since Yvonne Murray claimed the 10,000m title in 1994 with victory in the women’s T11/12 100m to the sound of the Hampden roar.
With 12.20 she won by over a second from Maria Elisa Muchavo of Mozambique with 13.33 and Namibia’s Lahja Ishitile with 13.48 for bronze, while there was a South Africa one-two in the men’s T37 100m – gold going to Fanie Van Der Merwe with 11.65 and silver to Charl Du Toit with 11.89. Rhys Jones bagged bronze for Wales with 12.04.
Shot gold went to O’Dayne Richards as he added half a metre to his personal best to break Dorian Scott’s Jamaican record, going one better than the 2006 and 2010 silver medallist to claim his nation’s first Commonwealth gold in this event and also better Tom Walsh’s Commonwealth Games record set the day before.
New Zealand’s Walsh had gone into the competition as the marginal favourite, having improved to 21.26m to win bronze at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot in March, but Richards was set to offer the biggest challenge and he threw 21.61m in the fourth round to go 42 centimetres further than Walsh in the final.
Bronze went to Canada’s Tim Nedow with 20.59m as Jersey’s Zane Duquemin finished 9th with 18.16m and England’s Scott Rider 10th with 18.12m. Walsh’s team-mate Jacko Gill – the two-time world junior champion – was more than two and a half metres off his best as his furthest was 18.05m in the third round.
Canada’s Sultana Frizell retained her Commonwealth hammer title with 71.97m to break her own Games record.
Just ten minutes into the evening’s action and the first Games record of the evening had fallen as Commonwealth record-holder Frizell launched the implement to 70.55m to better the record mark she set in qualifying the day before. She held the Games record before that, also, with 68.57m from Delhi.
She added almost half a metre to that mark with her winning throw – one of four over 70 metres – as New Zealand’s 21-year-old Julia Ratcliffe threw 69.96m for silver. Sophie Hitchon added to England’s medal tally with bronze, her best of 68.72m coming in the final round.
Home nation athletes filled the next four spots – England’s Sarah Holt with 65.67 for fourth ahead of 2010 silver medallist Carys Parry of Wales and Scottish throwers Susan McKelvie and Rachel Hunter.
Canada’s Damian Warner leads the decathlon overnight with 4378 points as England duo John Lane and Ashley Bryant are on target to break their PBs with 4294 points and 4173 points respectively after five events. Sitting third between the two Englishman at the half-way point is Kurt Felix of Grenada with 4228 points.
England’s Kelly Massey was among the athletes to progress to Tuesday night’s 400m final as she clocked a 52.19 personal best to finish behind Jamaica’s Stephanie McPherson with 50.69 in the first semi-final. Massey was the slowest in the second round but her runner-up spot was enough to book her place where she’ll join the likes of reigning champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana as well as Christine Day and Novlene Williams-Mills – Jamaicans winning all three semi finals.
Kimberly Williams leapt furthest in women’s triple jump qualifying, the Jamaican safely progressing with 13.94m. All three of England’s athletes – Yamile Aldama, Chioma Matthews and Laura Samuel – join her in the final.
» Results can be found here