By Nicola Kenton and Neil Leverett
- Adam Peaty defends Commonwealth crown ahead of team-mate James Wilby, as Nile Wilson take gold on bar
- England’s Townsend and Jones win para events, Elinor Barker wins points race for Wales
- XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia run until April 15
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – England’s Adam Peaty eases to second Commonwealth title ahead of team-mate James Wilby, now unbeaten in four yours of competition. Nile Wilson and Elinor Barker bring home gold for home nations also.
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Perfect Peaty adds 17th major title
England’s Adam Peaty once again delivered in major swimming meet, defending his Commonwealth 100m breaststroke title on day three of action on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The 23-year-old from Uttoxeter once again left all in his wake – though perhaps winning by less of a margin than both he and many experts had predicted – clocking a new Games record winning time of 58.84, almost two seconds outside of his world record, but .59 of a second ahead of team-mate James Wilby, who adds a silver to his gold from the 200m on Thursday. South African Cameron van den Burgh took the bronze again behind his now nemesis Peaty.
Despite being only in the early weeks of his season, Peaty went out harder than in his heats and semi-final, turning at 50m in the lead. Van den Burgh again had the better kick off the wall, but as the Englishman rose from the water for the last time engaged his now patented stroke and powered away from the pack.
Wilby went with the South Africa on the chasing field, and with a matter of metres to go was still in third. The York athlete pushed to the get to the final touch and did so over van den Burgh by one-one-hundredth-of-a-second to complete an England one-two.
Having opened his account in Australia, Peaty will now go for the double on Monday in the 50m breaststroke. Having notched his 17th major crown, unbeaten in four years and now European, World, Olympic and three-time Commonwealth champion, Peaty could yet go on to shatter all records.
Scott, Renshaw, Tutton add individual silverware
Elsewhere in the Optus Aquatics Centre on the third day of competition, there were further success for the home nations. Scotland’s Duncan Scott took a superb bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly, as Chad Le Clos took gold ahead of Australian David Morgan.
In the women’s 200m breaststroke, England’s Molly Renshaw and Wales’ Chloe Tutton finished on the podium with silver and bronze respectively, as South African Tatjana Schoenmaker added to a successful evening in the pool for the Proteas taking gold. It was further disappointment for Tutton however, having finished outside of the medals in fourth at the Rio Olympics two years ago, by mere hundredths-of-a-second.
Finally, in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, the English quartet of Freya Anderson, Ellie Faulkner, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Holly Hibbott finished third behind Canada and winners Australia, as the hosts were led home by Ariarne Titmus gaining revenge over Taylor Ruck from the individual event two days ago.
Fachie, Thornhill and Barker are the golden trio in the velodrome
Another day at the velodrome and more gold medals for the home nations. The first medal event of the evening saw Neil Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham aiming to win their second gold of the Games in the men’s visually impaired sprint finals. Earlier in qualifying, the Scottish pair had set a world record time of 9.568 with James Ball and Peter Mitchell of Wales in second.
In their respective semi-finals both Fachie and Ball beat their opposition and made it through to the gold-medal match. Fachie won the gold after claiming two victories over the Welsh pair, while Australia’s Brad Henderson clinched the bronze. Fachie has now won four Commonwealth gold medals, equalling the Scottish record held by Allan Wells and Alex Marshall.
Next on the track, England’s Sophie Thornhill stormed to victory in the women’s visually impaired 1000m time trial. Alongside her pilot Helen Scott, the pair recorded their second world record in two weeks in the event, setting a time of 1.04.623 to secure her second gold of these Games.
The 25km Points Race saw the home nations heavily represented and it was Wales and Scotland who claimed the medals. Elinor Barker of Wales gained a lap on the rest of the field and won two sprints, including the final one, to secure Wales’ first Commonwealth title in the velodrome since 1990. Barker shared the podium with Scotland’s Katie Archibald and Neah Evans, who both picked up points in the sprints to ensure a home nations podium.
In the men’s sprint finals, there was a shock in the early rounds as home favourite and fastest qualifier Matt Glaetzer was knocked out in the first round. Scotland’s Jack Carlin produced the second fastest qualifying and made it through the head-to-heads to the gold-medal match, where he faced New Zealand’s Sam Webster. However, it was not to be for the Scot as Webster showed his experience to take the gold ahead of Carlin with Australia’s Jacob Schmid winning the bronze.
The final event on the track was the men’s 15km scratch race with multiple riders competing, once again, for the home nations. For a long time England’s Ethan Hayter was out front with a large gap back to the rest of the field, but the Englishman couldn’t hold on eventually being swallowed up on the home straight to finish in fifth. Australia’s Sam Welsford crossed the line first with New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart in second and Hayter’s team-mate Chris Latham clinching the bronze.
Double gold for England, as Jones and Townsend claim inaugural para-triathlon titles
Para-triathlon made its debut at the Commonwealth Games and it was England who triumphed with Jade Jones and Joe Townsend winning the gold medals. The men’s event was dramatic with Australia’s Bill Chaffey crashing into the barrier, which allowed Townsend to pass him. In the final stages of the race, Townsend eclipsed Australian Nic Beveridge to claim his first gold on the international stage.
It has been a quick turnaround for Jones, who won a bronze medal in the T54 1500m at the Rio Paralympics, and decided to try para-triathlon. The Englishwoman had to catch Australia’s Lauren Parker and she did so in the final stages to secure the Commonwealth title. The other podium places were taken by Australians Emily Tapp and Parker.
There was more success for England in the mixed relay as Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee combined with Jess Learmonth and Vicky Holland to secure a silver medal with Australia winning the gold medal. The Aussies made the decisive move on the third leg, which proved to be too big a gap for the elder Brownlee to close and New Zealand completed the podium.
Wilson and Hall secure one-two for England in the men’s all-around final
The English duo of Nile Wilson and James Hall continued their success from the team competition to win gold and silver in the men’s all-around final. It was a tight final which saw the England team-mates go head-to-head with Cyprus’ Marios Georgiou for the podium places.
Wilson has been nursing a wrist injury and made a slow start to the competition with the Leeds gymnast unable to produce his best pommel horse performance. However, throughout the competition he moved up the rankings until he was tied for second alongside Georgiou heading into the final apparatus – the horizontal bar. Wilson, who won bronze on the horizontal bar in Rio, posted a score of 15.100 to secure the gold medal.
James Hall had a strong competition, posting consistent scores throughout to stay at the top of the rankings. Before the horizontal bar, Hall had a lead of 0.025 over Wilson and Georgiou and although he couldn’t prevent his team-mate from overhauling him, Hall scored higher than the Cypriot to take home the silver.
In the women’s competition, England’s Alice Kinsella claimed the bronze medal producing a solid competition with team-mate Kelly Simm finishing in fifth place. Canada’s Elsabeth Black won gold ahead of home favourite Georgia Godwin, while the gymnasts from Wales and Scotland also finished in the top 10.
Silver lining for English weightlifters Smith and Oliver
The 2014 Commonwealth champion Zoe Smith secured her third Commonwealth medal and now has the full set, after the weightlifter claimed silver in the women’s -63kg. Smith, who has had a torrid time in recent years with injuries and the loss of her funding, successfully lifted a 92kg snatch. In the second half of the competition, the Englishwoman posted a clean and jerk of 155kg to give a total of 207kg. Gold went to Canada’s Maude Charron who finished well ahead with a total of 220kg and bronze went to Mona Pretorious of South Africa.
In the men’s -77kg, Jack Oliver also claimed a silver medal improving on his fourth place in Glasgow. At the halfway stage, the Englishmen led the competition having posted a snatch of 145kg. In the clean and jerk, Oliver successfully lifted 167kg but he also had lifted 171kg in his final attempt before it was overturned by the judges. Oliver’s total of 312kg meant he secured silver ahead of bronze medallist Francois Etoundi of Australia and behind India’s Sathish Kumar Sivalingam.
The XXI Commonwealth Games continue on Friday and run until Sunday 15 April, in Gold Coast, Australia.
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