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Commonwealth Games (8)

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David Greene
10 October 2010

Wales’ Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold) and England’s Leon Baptiste (Michael Khmel) were the British golden boys on Sunday at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi – taking victories in the 400m hurdles and the 200m respectively.

Greene stopped the clock at 48.52 as he held off a strong challenge from defending champion Louis van Zyl of South Africa to cling onto gold in the Indian capital.

It's Wales’ first individual Commonwealth Games athletics gold medal since Iwan Thomas clinched the 400m 12 years ago, while another Welshman Rhys Williams (Malcolm Arnold) stormed down the home straight to pinch bronze.

"I knew that he was going to be the one to watch," said Greene. "I always knew this was going to be harder to win than in Barcelona and so it proved.

"It's just because of the time of the year which makes it a lot harder to get up for it, get ready and get prepared but I've done and it all bodes well for next year and London 2012."

Williams meanwhile, finished strongly to take his place on the podium after taking silver in Barcelona behind Greene.

"I wanted to be a lot closer to the front two but credit to Dai, he ran a great race," said Williams.

Baptiste, meanwhile, won England’s first men’s 200m Commonwealth title since Julian Golding in 1998 with a blistering victory in 20.45.

The 25-year-old edged out Jamaica’s Lansford Spence while bronze went to Wales’ Christian Malcolm (Dan Pfaff), who won silver in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“If you said before this year that I would be Commonwealth champion I just would not have believed it,” said Baptiste.

“All the hard work I have put in has paid off now and I owe a lot of different people for that – no more than my mum and dad.”  

Third-placed Malcolm added: “I’m happy with that, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t want to get gold but I’m really happy for Leon and I’m really pleased to get another Commonwealth medal.”

Marlon Devonish (Tony Lester), who won 200m silver in Manchester in 2002, came home in fifth place in 20.75.

In the women’s 400m hurdles, Scotland’s Eilidh Child (Stuart Hogg) secured an excellent silver medal, leaving her charge late to cross the line in 55.62.

Gold went to Nigeria’s Muizat Odumosu in 55.28, while England’s Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) finished seventh in 58.36, but 23-year-old Child could not hide her excitement at reaching the podium.

“I’m over the moon with that performance,” said Child. “I knew I had a chance to get a medal but I didn’t want to gear myself up to much.

“I can’t really remember the race but I knew as I came over the last hurdle that I wanted a medal and I was in shout.”

England’s Carl Myerscough (Self) produced a second-round throw of 60.64 to claim bronze in the discus behind India’s Vikas Gowda, 63.69, and gold medallist Benn Harradine, 65.45, of Australia.

“I am absolutely delighted, I knew I was going to have to really go for it from the start and that is what I did,” said Myerscough.

“It put a target up for everyone else to shoot at and it made me quite nervous because I was just hanging in there but I’ve finally done it.”

Emeka Udechuku (Self) threw 59.59 to finish fifth with Wales’ Brett Morse (Nigel Bevan) one place further back after throwing 58.91.

Jersey’s Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) took tenth place with a throw of 51.86 and Angus McInroy’s (Hugh Murray) 49.98 was enough for the Scotsman to finish 11th.

Scotland’s Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins) was the surprise package of the women’s 200m semi-final, grabbing a spot in the final and a season’s best time of 23.56 in the process.

McConnell could only finish fifth in the final of her more favoured 400m on Friday but she was in fine form over the shorter distance, ending the semi-final second for an automatic qualification spot.

But McConnell was not the only athlete laying down a marker in the semis with England’s Abiodun Oyepitan (Tony Lester) setting a new season’s best of 23.33 on the way to winning her semi.

Joice Maduaka (Loren Seagrave) will be the third home nation runner in the 200m final, the 37-year-old came through the third semi-final in second place – in a time of 23.56.

But there was disappointment for Wales’ Elaine O’Neill (Tom Crick) and Northern Ireland’s Amy Foster. The duo were racing in the third semi-final alongside Maduaka but O’Neill (third) and Foster (fifth) didn’t do enough to book their spots.

The final was due to take place prior to the men’s 200m final but there was drama when Cyprus’ Elena Artymata was disqualified for running on the line of her lane just minutes before the final was due to begin.

She subsequently lodged an appeal and as a result, the women’s 200m final has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Elsewhere, England’s Emma Jackson (Alan Morris) put herself in a great position for a medal in the 800m, booking a place in the final after getting the better of Olympic 1500m champion Nancy Langat.

The 22-year-old edged Langat – a champion in the 1500m at these Commonwealth Games – in the home straight to end as the fastest qualifier overall with 2:01.63.

Jackson will be joined in the final by England’s Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) who finished second in the first heat and the City of Stoke middle distance runner was elated with her performance.

“I looked up at the scoreboard and realised that I had a big gap between myself and the others and I was quite surprised,” said Jackson.

“I was ready to fight for it and fight to try and get into the final but when I looked up I was clear and I didn’t have to.

“I enjoy the crowd, they were really loud and they got right behind the runners and I really like running when it is like that.”

Gareth Warburton (Darrell Maynard) finished top Welshman in the 800m final after clocking 1:48.59 to come home in fourth, with team-mate Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) seventh in 1:52.39.

“I have been doing it for two years so I am still learning the event and to come fourth in the Commonwealth final is a good result,” said Warburton.

England’s Darren St Clair finished the two laps in 1:52.15 to finish sixth overall.

In the women’s high-jump final there was disappointment for the three-strong English contingent as they just missed out on a spot on the podium.

Vikki Hubbard (Graham Ravenscroft) was the closest to the medals, finishing an agonising fourth with a leap of 1.83 having registered three failures at 1.88.

Two places back in joint sixth were the other two English faces, Kay Humberstone (Toni Minichiello) and Steph Pywell (Fayyaz Ahmed) who managed jumps of 1.78.

With a personal best of 1.90 Pywell admitted she had expected better in Delhi but insisted she would bounce back stronger in Glasgow in four years’ time.

“Hopefully I can take away the experience from this and in Glasgow, I'll be up there in the medals,” said Pywell.

“I didn't jump very well at all. I wanted to do a lot better. I jumped really well in the preparation camp but I just didn't do it on the night.  It’s disappointing because I know I can definitely be in there for a medal.”

In the men’s T54 1500m final, Wales’ Brian Alldis crossed the line in sixth place with a time of 3:21.85 minutes as gold went to Australia’s Kurt Fearnley.

And in the women’s 100m hurdles Guernsey’s Kylie Robilliard finished fourth in her heat in a season’s best time of 13.94m.

Newly-crowned heptathlon champion Louise Hazel (Fayyaz Ahmed) opted against competing in the hurdles.