Fourth for Clarke as Hughes and Asher-Smith progress
Rosie Clarke (Epsom and Ewell, David Harmer) finished a fine fourth in a 3000m steeplechase won by Jamaica’s Aisha Praught in 9:21.00.
With Kenya’s Purity Kirui and Fancy Cherono pushing the early pace, the Team England duo of Clarke and Iona Lake (City of Norwich, Pauline Ash) were content to sit in the pack.
It was with four laps to go that a break was finally made when a third Kenyan, Celliphene Chespol, made her move. From that point onwards Lake dropped back, but Clarke stayed with a breakaway group of six and found herself, with 800m remaining, battling Kirui for the bronze medal.
The Kenyan had too much for the 26-year-old and moved away, but Clarke, the 2016 British champion, held on well for a fourth place in 9:36.29. Lake was 8th in 8:58.92.
“I thoroughly enjoyed that,” reflected Clarke. “Me and my coach decided that whatever happens, just go for it and don’t leave anything out there. I definitely did that. I thought I was going to be able to take it on, but when I heard the bell go I felt my legs going. In chase, you can’t just go for it when you’ve still got barriers to go.
“The girls ahead of me are all incredible so I can’t complain about finishing fourth. I came into this ranked seventh, so I wanted to come out better than that so I’m really chuffed.”
Dan Bramble (Shaftesbury Barnet, Frank Attoh) placed fifth in a high quality long jump final in which South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga added the Commonwealth title to the World gold he won in London last year, after a last gasp 8.41m saw him deny Australia’s Henry Frayne in the final round.
The 27-year-old Bramble leapt to 7.94m in the third round to record a mark just 8cm shy of the distance he set in qualifying.
“It is definitely bittersweet,” he commented. “I was really up for the occasion. There are big jumps there but I think I got a little impatient with the run up. I’m excited because there is a lot more there and I can’t wait to get a big one down.”
Bain near his best for fifth
Joshua Bain (Chelmsford) threw within five centimetres of his personal best in taking fifth place in the F38 shot put final.
The 22-year-old hurled the shot 12.31m in the fourth round of a competition that saw all three medalists exceed the 13-metre mark, as Australia’s Cameron Crombie took the title with 15.74m.
“The preparation that Mike [McNeill, team coach] and I have done has been fantastic,” he said. “He’s been a fantastic coach and the support I’ve had from everybody, from the team at home to my parents, who have come out here, has been really wonderful.
“I felt like there was a big throw in there, it’s just unfortunate that I couldn’t really deliver. But I’m only 5cm off my PB, so I really can’t go off and say it was a disappointing competition.”
Maria Verdeille (Stevenage and Northants, Catherine Walker) clocked a personal best 19.38 to place sixth in the T35 100m final, while teammate Daphne Schrager (Team Bath) took fifth in 17.09.
Australia’s Isis Holt sped to 13.58 to take the gold, raising the roof in the Carrara Stadium, creating a special atmosphere.
Both sprinters were pleased with their performances in Australia.
“The crowd was really behind us, so that was really encouraging.,” said Schrager. “I definitely think I could have gone a bit faster, but I felt like my race was good – I was catching the Aussies! I’m overjoyed to finish 5th in my first major championships as a senior. I’ve been working on power out of the blocks and I definitely think that it’s starting to come through. As a T35, blocks will never be perfect, but there’s always little bits I can work on.
“Racing at the Commonwealth Games is the best feeling I’ve had in my career so far. Especially when the crowd was roaring my name – that was ridiculous! The camp has been great. All the athletes that have been there before have been really supportive and have really looked after me.”
Verdeille, too, was happy with her run: “It’s all a bit of a blur – one minute I was starting and the next I was at the finish line. The experience was great. It was louder than thought! You really can’t describe it. This was a bit of a surprise selection for me, but I’m so glad I took the chance. It was worth the extra training and everything else I had to do. I don’t remember the first 30, 40 metres but then I remember thinking I’m actually running now! It was incredible.”
Chris Baker (Sale Harriers Manchester, Graham Ravenscroft) finished ninth and Robbie Grabarz (Newham and Essex Beagles, Fuzz Caan) 12th in a high jump final won by Australia’s Brandon Starc with 2.32m.
Baker took three attempts to clear 2.18m and two to clear 2.21m, but couldn’t get over 2.24m despite a decent second effort.
Grabarz was over 2.18m at the second time of asking, but couldn’t make another height, to bow out of his first Commonwealth final.
Finals beckon in sprints and long jump
Zharnel Hughes (Shaftesbury Barnet, Glen Mills) looked in fine form as he won the second of three men’s 200m semi finals in 20.37 to qualify for the final. The 22-year-old looked around in the final strides to check that he was safely in first place and shut down ahead of tomorrow’s race.
Richard Kilty (Middlesbrough (Mandale)) placed fifth in a fast first semi, clocking 20.67 as Canada’s Aaron Brown won in 20.18.
Dina Asher Smith (Blackheath and Bromley, John Blackie) was an impressive qualifier for Thursday’s 200m final, taking second place in the first of three semi finals following a battle with Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson.
The Jamaican required a PB 22.28 to beat the Olympic finalist, who clocked 22.48 two qualify as the second fastest athlete for the final.
Asher-Smith was joined by Bianca Williams (Enfield and Haringey, Lloyd Cowan), who started well and battled to the line to finish third in the second semi in 23.23, just 0.01 ahead of Australia’s Riley Day.
Finette Agyapong (Newham and Essex Beagles, Coral Nourrice) matched Williams’ place in the final semi, but her time of 23.38 meant that she missed out on the final on her debut at a senior championships.
Asher-Smith was happy with her progress so far.
“I was running well,” she commented. “Obviously you want to go and win a semi-final and put down a good time, but I eased off. It’s easy to get into a battle, but I had this thought in the back of my mind that it’s only a semi-final.
“I want to come out here and do well, and also see the other girls do well – we’re a team. I’m looking forward to the final – I’ve qualified with a decent time and I didn’t feel too bad doing it, so I’ll take that.”
Shara Proctor (Birchfield, Rana Reider) made light work of long jump qualifying. With 6.60m the automatic qualification distance, the 29-year-old went out to 6.89m with her first attempt and progressed with minimum fuss. It was her furthest jump since 2016.
Jazmin Sawyers (City of Stoke) and Lorraine Ugen (Thames Valley, Shawn Jackson) also qualified, their efforts of 6.47m and 6.42m placing them fifth and eighth in qualification, with 12 progressing to Thursday’s final.
Day 5 gets underway at 10:00 (AUS) / 01:00am (UK). Click here for schedule and full results.
CATCH-UP: Miller hits 80m to bag gold on day one
CATCH-UP: Bosworth snares silver at the seafront