Pole vaulter leads England jump-off one-two as Lynsey Sharp secures 800m silver for Scotland and Moses Kipsiro retains title in thrilling 10,000m
Having won Commonwealth pole vault bronze in 2006 and silver in 2010, Steve Lewis completed the full set of medals as he won a jump-off with fellow Englishman Luke Cutts to grab gold in Glasgow on Friday night.
With both athletes having cleared the eventual winning height of 5.55m on their first attempts but failed all three goes at 5.60m, the bar moved back down and Lewis was the first clear to claim the title. Silver went to Cutts, who had earlier this year broken Lewis’s British record in clearing 5.83m indoors, as Canada’s Shawnacy Barber bagged bronze thanks to his best of 5.45m. Missing out on a medal only on countback was Scotland’s Jax Thoirs as his team-mate Gregor McLean and England’s Max Eaves were two of the three athletes who failed to register a height.
“What an amazing feeling,” said Lewis. “I’ve had a consistent European season but this was the piece that was missing. I’m so happy now.
“2013 was a really hard year, so I hope I’m back on track and that this is my springboard on the way to Rio. It’s given me my confidence.”
Despite having been in the hospital of the athletes’ village until 5.30am on the morning of her 800m final being sick and having a drip in her arm, Lynsey Sharp returned to the track more determined than ever to claim a medal and the Hampden Park crowd roared her over the line to secure silver behind Kenya’s world champion Eunice Sum.
Clocking 2:01.34 behind Sum’s 2:00.31, Sharp just pipped Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo, who ran 2:01.38 for bronze as England’s 19-year-old Jessica Judd clocked 2:01.91 for fourth and her team-mate Jenny Meadows finished sixth with 2:02.19.
The 24-year-old Scot, who now heads to Zurich to defend her European title, had only secured her spot in the final after advancing as a fastest loser and with her silver goes one better than her father Cameron, who took bronze over both 100m and 200m at the Commonwealth Games in 1982.
“It does not feel real,” said Sharp. “The past year has been a nightmare for me with injuries and illnesses and I wasn’t at all well through the night. But it just came down to me having one shot at it, for two minutes. And I’ve made it on to the podium for a silver medal.”
There was a thrilling battle in the men’s 10,000m as Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro became the first to successfully defend this title, beating Kenya’s Josphat Bett by just three hundredths of a second for the smallest ever winning margin in this event at the Commonwealth Games.
Approaching the final bend and it was Canada’s Cameron Levins who made a move. It looked as though he might even pip the pair for the title, too, but the duo ran either side of him to demand a photo finish, Kipsiro clocking 27:56.11, Bett with 27:56.14 and Levins with 27:56.23 as the top five went sub-28:00.
Following the withdrawals of Mo Farah and Chris Thompson, Jonny Mellor was England’s sole representative but failed to finish as Scotland’s Andrew Lemoncello was the top home nation athlete with 28:36.63 for 12th. Two places behind him his team-mate Luke Caldwell took more than 12 seconds off his previous best with 28:47.39, which followed a 13th place finish in the 5000m five days before.
Not content with just claiming a clean sweep of the men’s 3000m steeplechase medals, the Kenyan athletes did it in style as former world junior champion Jonathan Ndiku clocked 8:10.44 to break the Commonwealth Games record as world No.1 Jairus Birech also dipped inside the old record mark with 8:12.68 for silver. Behind them, two-time Olympic and three-time world gold medallist Ezekiel Kemboi struggled in the closing stages and looked to be in pain as he took his left shoe off once over the line having clocked 8:19.73 for bronze.
The trio, who had been on world record pace at the one kilometre mark, were followed over the line by Matt Hughes of Canada. England’s James Wilkinson clocked 8:24.98 for fifth while his team-mate Luke Gunn ran 8:45.99 for seventh. Scotland’s Stephen Lisgo was eighth with 9:05.13.
Australia’s Sally Pearson didn’t appear to have let the controversies of the past couple of days affect her performance as she stormed to 100m hurdles victory to add the Commonwealth title to her Olympic gold. With 12.67 she beat England’s Tiffany Porter, who ran 12.80 to secure silver ahead of Canada’s Angela Whyte with 13.02.
There was another silver for England over in the high jump as Isobel Pooley added one centimetre to her personal best to finish behind 18-year-old Eleanor Patterson of Australia. Patterson’s decision to miss the World Junior Championships held the week before the Games for her shot at Commonwealth glory paid off as she equalled her season’s best of 1.94m to take gold ahead of Pooley with 1.92m. World youth champion Patterson had set her personal best of 1.96m in December, that mark equalling the world youth best.
Levern Spencer was the only athlete from St Lucia to make it on to the podium in 2010 when she claimed bronze and she repeated that podium position four years later with 1.92m, finishing behind Pooley on countback. Scotland’s Jayne Nisbet cleared 1.78m on her first attempt but failed all three goes at 1.82m to bow out of the competition and finish equal tenth.
Australia’s Dani Samuels lived up to her favourite status to win discus gold, the 2009 world champion going two better than her bronze from Delhi with 64.88m in the third round. India’s Seema Punia was third in 2010 and second in 2006 and she again secured silver for her third Commonwealth medal with 61.61m from her fifth throw, as England’s Jade Lally, sixth in 2010, bagged bronze with a 60.48m season’s best. Lally’s team-mate Eden Francis – this years UK shot and discus champion – threw 55.80m for seventh as Scotland’s Kirsty Law managed a best of 52.33m for 11th.
Usain Bolt had earlier this week promised that he would be running the heats of the men’s 4x100m, and not just the final should his Jamaica team progress, and he stayed true to his word to anchor the quartet to 38.99 on his Commonwealth Games debut. The Trinidad & Tobago team had gone quickest in the first round, running 38.33 to win the first heat, as England’s James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Andy Robertson clocked 38.78 to take the third heat and also safely progress.
The women’s Jamaica team equalled the Games record of 42.44 to qualify for the 4x100m final as quickest ahead of an England team comprising Asha Philip, Anyika Onuora, Louise Bloor and Ashleigh Nelson, who ran 43.33 after not the smoothest final changeover. After being disqualified the Wales were reinstated and will also race in the final.
An England team of Daniel Awde, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Nigel Levine and Conrad Williams combined to clock 3:03.01 and win the final men’s 4x400m heat as quickest overall. Behind them a Jamaica team ran 3:03.47 as Scotland’s Kris Robertson, Jamie Bowie, Greg Louden and Grant Plenderleith clocked 3:03.94 to qualify as a fastest loser, breaking the national record of 3:04.68 from 1990 in the process. A total of five teams were disqualified in that first round.
World champion Christine Ohuruogu ran a 51.54 anchor leg to bring the England 4x400m team home in 3:27.88 and qualify as quickest for Saturday night’s final. The team, also including Emily Diamond, Shana Cox and Margaret Adeoye, finished ahead of Nigeria with 3:28.28 and Canada with 3:31.02. Jamaica won the first heat in 3:28.29 as a Scotland team of Kirsten McAslan, Diane Ramsay, Gemma Nicol and Zoey Clark finished fourth in 3:33.91 as the gamble to rest 400m hurdles silver medallist Eilidh Child didn’t pay off and they missed out on a fastest loser spot by 0.24.
Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi went quickest in the first round of the men’s 1500m as he ran 3:39.90 to take the second heat from England’s Charlie Grice, while South Africa’s Johan Cronje and Wales’ Chris Gowell also grabbed automatic qualifying spots for Saturday’s final.
Chris O’Hare joins his fellow home nation athletes as he clocked 3:40.80 for fourth and the final automatic place in a closer first heat won by New Zealand’s Nick Willis in 3:40.76.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott threw a national record of 85.28m in javelin qualifying, which unsurprisingly easily surpassed the automatic qualifying mark. Kenya’s Julius Yego and Australia’s Luke Cann also qualified automatically while Welshman Lee Doran’s 75.82m was enough to see him through.
Defending champion Tosin Oke of Nigeria leapt a season’s best of 16.75m to safely secure his spot for the triple jump final where he will be joined by the likes of England’s Phillips Idowu, Nathan Fox and Nathan Douglas.
» Results can be found here