By Nicola Kenton and Neil Leverett

  • Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins Commonwealth heptathlon gold for England, as team-mate Niamh Emerson claims bronze
  • Laugher and Daly lead diving double, as Scotland win bowls gold in men’s fours
  • XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia run until April 15
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson wins heptathlon gold, Jack Laugher wins his third gold of the Games, as Scotland wins men’s fours gold in bowls on Day 9 on the Gold Coast.

 

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KJT leads England gold-bronze heptathlon double

England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson backed up her win at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham last month, taking Commonwealth gold in the women’s heptathlon on Day 9 on the Gold Coast.

The 25-year-old from Liverpool wins her first major outdoor medal and title ahead of Canada’s Nina Schultz, as Niamh Emerson completed a podium double for Team England, on her first major competitive debut.

Leading overnight, Johnson-Thompson jumped 31cm more than the chasing pack in day two’s first event in the long jump, before throwing 40m in the javelin – her lesser event – to then have an effective lap of honour of the Carrara Stadium to be crowned Commonwealth champion.

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Emerson, who was fourth into the final event of the competition then overhauled Celeste Mucci of Australia to claim a superb bronze also.

KJT’s celebrations were cut short however, after appearing to sustain an ankle injury during the final lap of the race as she fell to the floor after finishing in visible pain. After a run of injury in the past few years, the hope will be the Brit has not done damage ahead of her hopes of European gold this summer in Berlin.

 

Triple gold for Laugher, retains 3m synchro title with Mears

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England’s Jack Laugher secured his third gold of the 2018 Games, as he and Chris Mears retained their 3m synchronised springboard title from Glasgow. Laugher, who won gold in both the individual 1m and 3m springboard events, has now won five Commonwealth titles over two Games. The Olympic champions in the 3m synchronised springboard have continued their form onto the Commonwealth Games and retained their title by a winning margin of 20 points.

After the first two compulsory dives, the pair were placed fourth with Australian pair of Domonic Bedggood and Matthew Carter out front. However, after their third dive which scored more than 8 points, the English duo never looked back and continued to extend their lead. The last two dives in their programme, and the most difficult, earned them scores of 92 and 83 points to secure that the Leeds pair became back-to-back champions.

Canada’s Phillipe Gagne and Francois Imbeau-Dulac claimed the silver medal with Bedggood and Carter clinching the bronze for Australia. While England’s other pairing, brothers Ross and Jack Haslam, started the competition well but unfortunately dropped down the leaderboard to finish in fifth place.

 

Daley and Goodfellow lead one-two for England in men’s synchronised 10m platform

Olympic bronze medallists Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow won the synchronised 10m platform title, as team-mates Matthew Dixon and Noah Williams took the silver. It was not the perfect competition for either pair but it was the gold-medal winning duo who led after the two compulsory dives. However, Dixon and Williams then took their place at the top after the next two dives securing scores of 8 and 8.5 while Daley and Goodfellow could only manage sevens and eights.

Conversely, the fifth dive saw the more experienced pair overturn their younger compatriots as they scored over 90 points, in comparison to 65. Even though their final dive was not of the highest standard, Daley and Goodfellow clinched the gold medal with Dixon and Williams just five points behind. Australian duo Domonic Bedggood and Declan Stacey produced an excellent final dive to claim the bronze medal and finish just a further two points behind the second English pair.

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Daley, who had to pull out of the individual event due to injury, now has five Commonwealth  medals – four of which are gold. Meanwhile, the silver medal marks a ‘coming of age’ for 17-year-olds Dixon and Williams who have won their first medals at a senior international competition.

In the women’s 1m springboard final, Scotland’s Grace Reid led from the front to secure her first Commonwealth title – a great improvement on her ninth place achieved at the Glasgow Games. It had been 60 years since Scotland won a medal in the diving at the Commonwealth Games until James Heatly claimed bronze in the men’s 1m earlier in the week and now Reid has claimed gold. There was disappointment, however, for England’s Katherine Torrance who went into the final round in the bronze medal position but made a mistake on her diver and dropped down to fifth place.

 

Marshall makes history as Scotland win bowls gold

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Scotland’s Alex Marshall won his fifth Commonwealth gold medal, as part of the men’s four, to become the most successful Commonwealth athlete from Scotland. Heading into the match, Marshall was level with para-cyclist Neil Fachie and sprinter Alan Wells on four golds but clinched the gold in a hard-fought match against Australia.

Alongside his team-mates Ronald Duncan, Derek Oliver and Paul Foster, Scotland came from behind to claim victory. The quartet trailed the home side throughout the match, as Australia led by 8-2 but Scotland came back and closed the gap to 12-11 before Australia gained another shot. In the fifteenth and final end, Scotland had three bowls counting before Marshall put their last shot in to leave Australia a target. however, Aron Sherriff could not produce the shot needed as  he missed Scotland’s bowls which meant that Marshall and his team-mates had won the gold. The bronze medal match of the men’s four saw England beat Wales to claim the final podium place.

In the women’s pairs, Scotland triumphed over Canada in the bronze medal match. The semi-finals of the men’s singles saw England’s Robert Paxton lose to home favourite Aaron Wilson and Scotland’s Darren Burnett was beaten by Canada’s Ryan Bester. In the bronze medal match, it was Paxton who came out on top to claim the final medal.

 

Hockey woe again for Team England

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It was hockey woe for England for the second successive day at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, beaten by favourites Australia 2-1 in a tense semi-final.

After the hosts took a first-minute lead through Trent Mitton, it took the visitors until late in the third quarter to equalise through Ian Sloan after the England skipper was found unmarked for a tap into an unguarded net, following a touch-line scramble and pass across the Australian penalty area.

That sparked a frantic fourth period where both sides threw caution to the wind. Mitton added a second to re-establish the lead after a his penalty corner strike deflected in off Barry Middleton‘s stick, but as the hosts lost their discipline they were reduced to eight men for the majority of the closing minutes.

Despite England pulling goalkeeper George Pinner to allow a three-man advantage for the final seven minutes, they failed to create any real dangerous openings as the men in Green and Gold clung on to book their place in Saturday’s final.

England meanwhile will face India in the bronze medal match also on Saturday against India, who they dramatically lost 4-3 to on Wednesday.

 

England cause seismic shock in Basketball

At the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibitions Centre, England produced a huge shock by beating Canada in the semi-finals of the women’s basketball.

The English coached by Paul James and making a rare appearance at a major international competition, stunned the by Canadians ranked fifth in the world winning out 65-53 winners, as Rachael Vanderwal stole the show scoring 20 points.

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Dominating throughout, England kept their opponents at arms-length in term of points advantage as Canada were guilty of wasting a number of gilt-edged chances, with England on fire from the edge of the zone to rack up three-pointers.

As the ladies in Red celebrated a guaranteed medal in qualifying for the gold medal match on Saturday, they will play either New Zealand or favourites Australia on Saturday.

 

Sixteen home nations’ boxers make it to gold medal bouts

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The medals bouts in the boxing are upon us and the home nations are heavily represented. Semi-finals occurred in many different weight divisions today with sixteen boxers from the home nations making it into the gold medal matches. For those who lost their semi-final such as: Scotland’s John Docherty and Reece McFadden; Steven Donnelly and James McGivern of Northern Ireland; England’s Cheavon Clarke and Luke McCormack; and Michael McDonagh of Wales they have still secured a bronze medal for their team.

There are four finals in which both competitors are from the home nations. England and Northern Ireland face off in the women’s 51kg as Lisa Whiteside and Carly McNaul fight it out for the gold. While, Rosie Eccles of Wales and England’s Sandy Ryan will do battle in the women’s 69kg. In the men’s 56kg, Northern Ireland’s Kurt Walker will fight England’s Peter McGrail and in the 69kg category Pat McCormack of England will face Aidan Walsh of Northern Ireland.

Walsh’s sister Michaela will be in the final of the 57kg, while compatriots Kristina O’Hara and Brendan Irvine will also compete for gold. England’s Paige Murney, Galal Yafai and Frazer will also contest the gold medal match in their respective divisions, as will Lauren Price and Sammy Lee of Wales.

 

The XXI Commonwealth Games conclude this weekend, with the closing ceremony Sunday on the Gold Coast in Australia.

 

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