Hahn completes her set during day five medal rush
Sophie Hahn (Charnwood, Joe McDonnell) ran a scorching Games record to win T38 100m gold on day five of athletics at the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast.
The 21-year-old – the owner of Paralympic, world and European titles – completed the set by clocking 12.46 (+0.9), just 0.02 seconds off her own world record.
She shot out of the blocks but was pushed early on by Australia’s Rhiannon Clarke and Wales’ Olivia Breen, that duo ultimately locking out the podium positions.
Hahn drove away to confirm a memorable title, the 0.71 margin of victory underlining her dominance.
She said: “It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve always wanted to be Commonwealth champion and to do that here in Australia is great. I’ve not raced the Aussie [Rhiannon Clarke] before, and I thought straight away, she’s pretty good so I need to be on my game.
“It’s quite early in the season for us so my training had to change a little and I had to introduce speed work earlier, so to run that time this early on, I can’t ask for more really. This year is all about consistency, next year we’ll pick it up and look to peak for Tokyo.”
She added on the inclusivity of the Games: “I think it’s fantastic that able-bodied and para athlete represent one team and I’m honoured to have my event here.”
Clocking a season’s best of 14.82, Katrina Hart (Birchfield Harriers, Rob Ellchuk) placed sixth overall.
A silver to savour for Langford
In the final event of the night, Kyle Langford (Shaftesbury Barnet, Jon Bigg) unleashed a trademark late burst to win a memorable silver in the 800m.
The early pace was set by reigning champion Nijel Amos, who ceded the lead on 600m when eventual winner, Wycliffe Kinyamal (KEN), made a burst before the bend.
Langford was boxed in on the rail but remained calm until entering the straight, at which point he turned on the burners. The 22-year-old moved up from fifth and nearly caught a tiring Kinyamal, winning silver in a PB 1:45.16.
The medal comes after fourth place finishes at last year’s world championships and last month’s world indoors. It has only renewed Langford’s ambition.
“They got out very, very hard, then it eased up a little,” said Langford. “[Nijel] Amos started to die a bit and then we got to the back straight and the Kenyans started to surge and people started coming from everywhere.
“Then, 200m to go I felt absolutely awesome. I got stuck in a little bit of traffic and then 120m to go I managed to get out, I had too much left and I felt I couldn’t get my legs moving quick enough. I started picking up but I just didn’t have quite enough to win this – it’s really gutting being so close. I knew I had it in me to win, its what I’ve been envisaging at every training session – to win gold. So to come short, it’s gutting but it’s one of those things as an athlete it makes you stronger.
“It’s not a loss, you either win or you learn and that’s what I’m going to take away from this.”
Bronze o’clock for English trio
Dina Asher-Smith showed fine early-season speed to win bronze in a high-class 200m, which was won by World bronze medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) in a Games record 22.09.
Running from lane six, Asher-Smith closed the stagger on Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, running in seven, within the opening strides.
Coming off the bend, Asher-Smith was level with Miller-Uibo and Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson. While she couldn’t match the speed endurance of those 400m specialists, Asher-Smith held off Thompson for bronze in 22.29.
“Obviously I came with the aim to get myself on the podium, that’s been the whole impetus in training since London last year,” said Asher-Smith.
“I just wanted to get myself out of the fourths, out of the fifths and make it, so this is a great step in the right direction. I’m really happy to run a 22.2 in April, that’s insane for me. Usually I’m still jogging around in trainers at this point!
“My parents were at the front of the podium cheering for me – they travel all around the world to watch me race and they’re super proud. This is definitely a testament to their genes and patience with me!”
Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey, Lloyd Cowan), bronze medallist four years ago in Glasgow, finished 6th in 23.06.
In the men’s 200m final, Zharnel Hughes (Shatfesbury Barnet, Glen Mills) suffered a heartbreaking disqualification after crossing the line first. Running in his debut Commonwealth Games, Hughes appeared to tangle with Jereem Richards (TTO) in the closing strides and was disqualified. Richards was awarded the gold. An appeal against the decision was rejected.
In the men’s pole vault final, Luke Cutts (Sheffield & Dearne, Trevor Fox) won bronze after a first time clearance at 5.45m, as Australia’s Kurtish Marschall took the title with 5.75m.
The 30-year-old Cutts, who won silver four years ago, prevailed over his club mate, Adam Hague, who needed an additional attempt to clear the same height and therefore finished fourth.
Jumping on new poles, Cutts was delighted with the medal.
“I’m really happy with my performance,” he said. “It’s like I said to everyone else, I came out here with some brand new poles not expecting to do that well, but I’ve now got things I can work on back home. I came in preferably for a medal. But I knew the Canadian could jump 5.92 and the Australian jumped 5.80 a couple of weeks back, so I knew it was going to be a tough competition out there.
“Preparation coming out wasn’t that good – obviously I was working a lot prior to leaving, but I got into training four weeks out and everything is looking good now as we look towards the season.”
Shara Proctor (Birchfield Harriers, Rana Reider) produced a 6.75m jump to win bronze in the long jump.
Proctor’s sole 6.89m effort in qualifying had been the best in the field, yet the 29-year-old World silver medallist from 2015 couldn’t reproduce the same fo
rm in the final, and was 9cm back from the 6.84m of winner Christabel Nettey (CAN).
After fouling her opening effort, Proctor was safe with her second to lodge a 6.45m. Her best effort came in round four, after which she passed her remaining jumps after feeling a niggle.
Though there was some frustration, Proctor was still pleased with her medal.
“It wasn’t my best,” she conceded. “Unfortunately I picked up a strain, I believe. It’s very minor but I had to be safe and pull out and hope for the best. Luckily I came out with a bronze, but I came into the competition with a gold medal in mind. It didn’t happen but I’m thankful I got this.
“It was a fun battle – I love the Australian crowd. The runway was really fast and I enjoyed it, regardless of what happened.”
In the same contest, Lorraine Ugen (Thames Valley, Frank Attoh) produced a last round 6.69m to finish fourth. Jazmin Sawyers, silver medal winner in Glasgow, also found her best with her final jump, and finished seventh with 6.35m.
Johnson-Thompson cruises into hepthathlon lead
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Liverpool Harriers, Bertrand Valcin) leads the heptathlon after four events, amassing 3765 points across the first day of the contest.
Johnson-Thompson opened with a 13.54 (+0.6) clocking in the 100m hurdles, a solid mark to sit fourth at that point.
In her favoured high jump, she cleared first time at 1.81m, 1.84m and 1.87m to move first overall. Although she slipped back down to fourth after a below par 11.54m in the shot put, the world indoor champion took control again after the day’s final event. She won her 200m race in 23.56, the fastest time overall, to hold a 126 point lead over second-placed Nina Schultz (CAN).
Elsewhere in the heptathlon, Niamh Emerson (Amber Valley & Erewash, David Feeney) lies in fourth overall after a solid day. The 2015 Commonwealth Youth champion clocked 14.08 in the 100m hurdle opener, just 0.07 seconds off her PB. Later in the morning she cleared 1.84m in the high jump to move sixth.
In the shot put, she produced a 12.13m, fifth best of the field, before ending her day in fine style. She won her 200m heat in 24.83 to amass 3568 points and sit just 45 points off the podium.
Katie Stainton (Birchfield Harriers, Kelly Sotherton) showed grit and determination to return for the high jump after a heavy fall in the first event of the day but sadly a knee injury ruled her out of the rest of the competition.
Elsewhere in the evening session, Jack Green (Kent, June Plews) agonisingly missed the podium by 0.02 seconds to finish fourth in a world-class field.
Green ignited the burners in the final 200m, making up ground on the leading duo, Kyron McMaster (BIV) and Jeffrey Gibson (BAH).
Although it was too late to catch those two, it did reel in Jaheel Hyde (JAM); the duo tussled over the final hurdles, the Jamaican ultimately pipping Green to bronze.
Green – posting a time of 49.18 – watched the 2014 final at Hampden Park with his mum. It has been quite a turnaround in four years.
He said: “Partly thrilled, partly devastated. It’s a world class field. I worked hard and tried my best but in the end, everyone comes in and sometimes in life you’ve got to come fourth. I’ll look at it in a few years and think: what an achievement.”
In the discus, Jade Lally (Shaftesbury Barnet, Andrew Neal) had to battle through the pain barrier to earn a combative 7th place. She recorded five legal throws, the best – 53.97m – coming in round two.
Lally’s disappointment was tempered by her knowing there are improvements to be made.
“That’s just where I’m at the moment,” she said. “This back problem has just been a pain, to put it lightly. I throw 53m in training, I throw 57m in training – it was either going to be one or the other and I had to be mentally prepared for both.
“I think I could have taken a medal today, I don’t think that was unrealistic. Unfortunately it just wasn’t quite right today.”
Athletics resumes tomorrow at 10:00 local time (01:00am UK). Full results can be found here.
CATCH-UP: Fourth for Clarke while sprinters shine
CATCH-UP: Miller hits 80m to bag gold on day one
CATCH-UP: Bosworth snares silver at the seafront