British duo and world record-holder among athletes to progress on day three of athletics action at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games
One leap was all it took for Olympic champion Greg Rutherford to secure his spot in the Commonwealth Games long jump final on Tuesday as the Englishman bettered the automatic qualifying mark with 8.05m.
That was the longest leap of the first round and helped to show that the 27-year-old is over the knee niggle that forced him to pull out of both the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix and London Anniversary Games earlier this month.
“I’m in pretty good form,” he said. On the Hampden Park crowd support he added: “The response of the crowd was absolutely unreal. It does feel like a home crowd.”
The Delhi Commonwealth silver medallist is favourite for gold in Wednesday’s final thanks to his 8.51m UK record leap from Chula Vista in April. Sitting behind Rutherford in the rankings is South Africa’s Zarck Visser. He leapt 7.99m as another of the five men to automatically progress. His team-mate Rushwahl Samaai (8.03m), Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre (7.95m) and Jamaica’s Damar Forbes (7.90m) join them.
All three of England’s long jumpers advance, Chris Tomlinson and JJ Jegede missing the auto mark of 7.90m but securing their spots in the final with their respective leaps of 7.89m and 7.66m.
One of the poster girls for the Games, Scotland’s Eilidh Child crossed the 400m hurdles finish line well clear in the first heat to cheers from the vocal crowd.
Her time was the second quickest overall as world leader Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who is set to be 2010 silver medallist Child’s biggest challenger in Thursday night’s straight final, ran 55.45 to win the final heat.
Spencer’s fellow Jamaican Janieve Russell also progresses, as do the likes of Australia’s Lauren Wells and South Africa’s Wenda Theron Nel.
World 800m record-holder David Rudisha breezed through the first round of the two-lap event, Kenya’s Olympic champion clocking 1:46.89 ahead of England’s Michael Rimmer with 1:47.64. Botswana’s Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos eased down in the final 800m heat to clock 1:50.56 as Bermuda’s Aaron Evans caught him on the line, both comfortably through to the next round.
A battle for the line between England’s Andrew Osagie and Wales’ Joe Thomas in the third heat resulted in Osagie’s disqualification. The pair were fighting for the third automatic qualifying place and following a bit of pushing and shoving the Englishman crossed the line behind Australia’s Jeffrey Riseley and Kenya’s Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich to claim it ahead of Thomas. But Osagie was later disqualified, with fifth over the line Shaquille Dill of Bermuda progressing as one of the fastest losers. Others were Scotland’s Guy Learmonth, having run 1:47.85 behind Rudisha in the first heat, and England’s Mukhtar Mohammed.
Canada’s Damain Warner picked up from where he left off at the halfway point in the decathlon as the world bronze medallist returned on the second day of the competition to clock 13.50 in the 110m hurdles, a time just 0.03 off the world best in the multi event and the only sub-14 second clocking in Glasgow. That mark would also have been enough for him to have claimed a medal in the individual event at any of the previous editions of the Games.
It extended his lead, sitting top on points with 5418 after six events, 230 points ahead of England’s John Lane with 5188 after 14.64 to finish third behind Warner. Second in that race was South Africa’s Friedrich Pretorius, who had finished seventh at the World Junior Championships in Eugene less than a week before.
Warner’s fellow Canadian Jessica Zelinka got her heptathlon campaign off to a strong start as she clocked 12.83 assisted by a 1.5 m/sec wind in the 100m hurdles – a Games record for this discipline in the multi-event competition – for 1150 points. Behind her, favourite Brianne Theisen-Eaton – also of Canada – ran 13.18.
Among the English athletes in action, Jessica Taylor clocked a 13.81 overall personal best to go sub-14 seconds for the first time behind team-mate Jessica Tappin with 13.51.
England’s defending 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner crashed into the first two barriers, and then out of the competition, in the first sprint hurdles heat. After clattering the barriers hard he stopped on the track and later said how he had made a “schoolboy error”.
Winner of that heat – Jamaica’s Andrew Riley – went quickest overall with 13.47, with Tuesday evening’s final set to be an exciting battle featuring 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados and England’s William Sharman – the British champion who has recorded a strong series of results recently. Sharman clocked 13.49 into a strong headwind in the third heat behind Brathwaite’s 13.48.
England’s Lawrence Clarke also made it through, while the competition is missing Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment who withdrew ahead of the Games.
David Weir cruised into the men’s T54 1500m final, momentum carrying him over the line in 3:28.24 to take the first heat – the six-time Paralympic gold medallist not needing to push for the final 50 metres. Behind him, Canada’s world champ Josh Cassidy clocked 3:29.81. Australia’s defending champion Kurt Fearnley won the second heat in 3:19.65 ahead of Canada’s Alex Dupont.
Ghana’s Patrick Obeng had been with the two leaders approaching the final bend but there was a clash and he fell on to the track before returning to clock 3:48.11 and miss out on a spot in the final. England’s Will Smith progresses with an auto qualifying spot.
Scottish athletes again delighted the home crowd in the women’s T54 1500m heats as Meggan Dawson-Farrell and Sammi Kinghorn led for spells in their respective races, both going on to qualify for the final. Heat victories went to Canada’s Diane Roy with 3:52.83 and England’s Shelly Woods with 4:00.82.
Woods’ fellow English athlete Jade Jones also progresses with an automatic qualifying spot having placed in the top three, the same as Kinghorn. Dawson-Farrell’s 3:58.78 was enough for a fastest loser spot, as England’s 16-year-old Lauren Rowles clocked 4:08.99 to also progress.
» Results can be found here