28th July 2014

Gemili Grabs Glasgow Silver

28 July 2014

The men’s 100m final always takes top billing and tonight at the Commonwealth Games there was British success to shout about, as Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) backed up his qualification form to take Glasgow 2014 silver.

Already a world finalist over 200m, Gemili opted for the blue riband event in Glasgow, and it paid off. The youngster got a great start, and was in the mix all the way, only edged out by Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamiaca in the closing stages. The Team England man couldn’t believe it when he saw his 10.10 second place finish come up on the big screen, but the crowd were loving every second of it.

A gobsmacked Gemili commented:

“This is my first senior medal and I’m speechless. There is so much preparation that goes into running just 10 seconds – it’s not as easy as people think. I’ve got a great team behind me and they are who I need to thank.

“The reception I got was absolutely unbelievable and it’s something I’m never going to forget. It was not about the time – it was about the position and I’ve done it so I’m over the moon. The times will come and hopefully I will have a decent career in terms of the time I run. But medals are what counts and this is a stepping stone now for the European Championships in a couple of weeks, the World Championships and then eventually Rio.”

If the Hampden Park didn’t have strong foundations and a lot of history, the eruption that took place as Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and guide runner Mikail Huggins streaked away to take T11/12 100m gold may have lifted it off the ground.

The duo got a blistering start, leading after 10 metres and they never looked back, storming down the track with the deafening Hampden Roar carrying them all the way. Like in their heat this morning, they set a new word lead of 12.20 seconds, to win Team Scotland’s first athletics gold of Glasgow 2014.

"I didn’t realise it was Scotland’s first track Gold at a Commonwealth Games since 1994 (Yvonne Murray). Wow. That’s a big thing.

"The lap of honour took a fair bit of time because we kept meeting people. I met old friends from school, my mum, my dad, my boyfriend, family of Mikail (Huggins, guide runner) and everyone was so happy for us. We will savour this moment and then look to the Europeans."

The women’s hammer final saw another Team England medal, as Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) threw 68.72m in the final round to clinch bronze. She couldn’t do anything to stop Sultana Frizell of Canada though, as the defending champion broke the Commonwealth Games record with a throw of 71.97 in round five.

“It’s kind of mixed emotions if I’m honest.  Obviously I’m really excited to get a bronze medal at a major championships but I felt like I had a lot more in me. I wanted at least one throw a little bit further but that is how it goes sometimes. I think this is a good stepping stone for me; I’ve got the Europeans next and in the next few years this will stand me in good stead.”

It was a great night for British women’s hammer throwing though, as home countries athletes occupied every position from third to seventh, as well as tenth and eleventh. Sarah Holt (John Pearson) threw a season’s best of 65.67m when it counted to finish fourth, with Carys Parry (Adrian Palmer) one place and just 30cm further back. Susan McKelvie (Lorraine Shaw) was the first of the three Scots in sixth.

The women’s 100m lived up to expectation as well, with Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria smashing the Commonwealth Games record, taking gold in 10.85. In a world class field, Asha Phillip (Christine Bowmaker) fought all the way to the line, taking fourth in a personal best equalling 11.18. It’s hard to believe that this was her first major championships as a senior. The same can be said for her Team England compatriot Biana Williams (Lloyd Cowan) who clocked 11.31 for sixth place.

Post-race, Phillips commented:

“Fourth is definitely the cruellest place to finish as it’s the first loser, as they always say. But the fact I can compete with these girls tells me there is more to come and I’m so proud of myself.

“It’s always hard to get a PB in a final but I did that, so I’m going to take it on the chin and know it was a great race. It was unfortunate to come fourth as I wanted a medal but it’s my first Commonwealth Games.

Phillip will return in the relay later in the week, and of that prospected she said:

“I think we are definitely a formidable 4x100m relay team as we’ve put a lot of hard work into our sprinting. I’m hoping us four girls will do really well and I can see us getting a medal.”

Rhys Jones (Antoine) peaked at just the right time in the men’s T37 100m final to secure bronze in a season’s best of 12.04. That run doubles Team Wales’ medal tally after Aled Davies’ (Anthony Hughes) silver medal in the discus earlier today.

In the men’s shot put final, Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) of Jersey and Scott Rider (Hillier) of Team England couldn’t quite replicate their qualifying form, finishing ninth and tenth with bests of 18.16m and 18.12m respectively. It took a Commonwealth Games record of 21.61m for Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards to secure victory.

Earlier in the day there was disappointment for both Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Rana Reider) and Richard Kilty (Reider) in the men’s 100m semi-finals as they clocked 10.25 and 10.27 respectively, to miss out on places in the final. They’ll return later in the week to seek redemption in the relay.

Similarly Sophie Papps (Dan Cossins) couldn’t advance from the semi-finals, but the 19 year olds 11.61 clocking wasn’t far outside her season’s best as she finished seventh.

In the women’s 400m semi-finals, a late surge by Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball) saw her break her personal best and secure a place in the final courtesy of a top two finish. Massey was in third until the final 10 metres when she passed fading Nigerian Omolara Omotosho to secure the runner-up spot in semi-final one.

Despite a similar charge down the home-straight to snatch third, Margaret Adeoye’s (Linford Christie) 52.48 season’s best wasn’t enough to see her through. Neither was her Team England compatriot Shana Cox’s fifth place finish.

It was a case of job done for the Team England trio in the women’s triple jump qualifying as all three ladies booked their final places. Laura Samuel (Aston Moore) led the way, securing automatic qualification in pool A with a first round effort of 13.54, which was also a season’s best. Her teammates followed in her footsteps in pool B with Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) jumping 13.29m
and Cioma Matthews (Frank Attoh) 13.14m to make the top twelve.

The men’s decathlon medals are delicately poised at the halfway point after a great first day of action, but interestingly there has been no change in the top four since the end of the morning session.

John Lane (Toni Minichiello) leads the way with a mid-way total of 4294 points, 84 points behind leader since event one, Damian Warner of Canada. A 1.96m high jump and a 47.78 400m slightly cut the gap to Warner. In fourth is Ashley Bryant (Ian Grant) who almost matched Lane like for like in this afternoon’s session, clearing 1.99m in the high jump and running 48.13 in the 400m. With a total of 4178 points, he is just 55 points down on the medals.