Four-time Paralympic medallist wins Commonwealth discus title, while Hellen Obiri runs Games record in 1500m heats
Dan Greaves won England’s first athletics gold of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on Monday as he launched the discus to 59.21m for 1023 points in the F42/44 competition.
The four-time Paralympic medallist, who won gold in Athens in 2004, claimed victory with his third-round throw as two of his other three valid throws were also over 50 metres.
There was another home nations athlete on the podium as Wales’ Aled Davies – Paralympic and world champion in the F42 discus – threw 46.83m for 1012 points and silver. Bronze went to Nigeria’s Richard Okigbazi with a 39.38m PB for 844 points.
“I am really chuffed with throwing 59.21, which is a regular throw for me now, so I was able to replicate what I do in training,” said Greaves. “I would have liked to have thrown 60m, but a medal is a medal.”
He added: “My parents were watching the Brisbane Games when my mother was in labour with me in 1982, so the Games have always held a very special place in my heart.”
The decathlon got underway on day two of athletics action and Canada’s Damian Warner proved he means business in Glasgow as he clocked a 100m personal best of 10.29 to break Daley Thompson’s 28-year-old Games decathlon best.
Running in lane one, the world bronze medallist stormed ahead to win the third heat by 0.42. Behind him, England’s John Lane ran 10.71 to equal his PB while Commonwealth decathlon rankings leader Willem Coertzen of South Africa clocked a 10.88 PB for third in that heat.
There was a Wales one-two in the second heat as David Guest ran 10.95 to Curtis Matthews’ 11.03 PB. England’s Ashley Bryant ran 11.10 for third.
Warner’s 100m mark, along with a 7.50m leap in the long jump and 14.04m in the shot, helped him on his way to lead the competition with 2691 points after three events ahead of Lane, who launched the shot to a 14.12m outdoor PB for a three event points total of 2597, and Bryant with 2521 – the European under-23 fourth-placer leaping the furthest in the long jump with 7.56m.
Kenya’s Hellen Obiri ran a Commonwealth Games 1500m record and the best is yet to come as her 4:04.43 came in only the first 1500m heat. Having clocked 3:57.05 when winning in Eugene in May, heat victory came easy for the Kenyan as she was one of four athletes to pull away on the home straight and secure automatic qualification for the final.
Behind her, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin – who was born in England and ran for Dorchester AC before becoming a Kiwi in 2009 – ran 4:05.08 as Scotland’s Laura Muir, who was greeted by the Hampden Park crown by big cheers, slowed as she approached the line and clocked 4:05.19. Hannah England ran 4:05.62 for fourth and the final auto qualifying spot in that heat.
Heat two was won by Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon in 4:05.77 as Canada’s Kate Van Buskirk ran 4:07.74 and English athletes Laura Weightman and Jemma Simpson are also among those to progress.
Libby Clegg delighted the home crowds with a world-leading 12.23 to go quickest in the women’s T11/12 100m heats. A season’s best, the mark is a tenth off her personal best. Wales’ Tracey Hinton also safely progressed to the final as she ran 13.79 to win the third heat, while Maria Elisa Muchavo of Mozambique went quickest in the first heat with 13.40.
Scotland’s Jason Maclean and Wales’ Rhys Jones were among the automatic qualifiers in the T37 heats, the Scot running 12.96 to finish behind South Africa’s Charl Du Toit with 12.02 in the first heat. England’s Daniel Hooker also progresses to the final as a fastest loser with 13.09 clocked in a second heat won by Fanie van der Merwe in 11.75.
Botswana’s Isaac Makwala went the quickest in the 400m heats, as favourite Kirani James of Grenada also cruised through to the semi-finals with 45.52. England’s Martyn Rooney made victory in his heat seem easy as he ran the third-quickest time with 45.57. Fellow English athletes Michael Bingham and Nigel Levine join him in the semi finals.
All three English athletes – Chris Baker, Martyn Bernard and Tom Parsons – made it through to the high jump final and will be joined by the likes of favourite Derek Drouin of Canada and Scotland’s Ray Bobrownicki. His fellow Scot David Smith failed to progress while ahead of the competition Team Scotland confirmed that Allan Smith had withdrawn.
England’s Nick Miller threw the hammer the furthest in qualifying for the final. His 72.76m topped group A, while 71.62m from Scotland’s Mark Dry was the best of grounp B. Canada’s Jim Steacy, England’s Alex Smith and Amir Williamson and Scotland’s Chris Bennett and Andrew Frost join them.
» Results can be found here