Richard Chiassaro (Club: Harlow, Coach: Jenni Banks) was in supreme form as he won his heat in the T54 1500m in a Games record of 3:06.76, looking extremely comfortable. Heading straight to the front of the pack –on the outside of compatriot Nathan Maguire (Halton & Frodsham, Ste Hoskins) – Chiassaro dictated the pace with ease, eventually moving away with 300m to go. He cruised across the finish line followed by home favourite Kurt Fearnley and Maguire, who will also feature in Tuesday’s final.
The world medallist commented: “We’ve been working on racing on the outside to stay out of trouble when you are travelling in the pack. I was just under 23mph at the end so I know I have that kick at the end. The focus was on getting all three of us through safely and it was good practise for the final.”
In the earlier heat, Dillon Labrooy (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer) produced a mature display on his Games debut to progress to the final. Sitting behind the leading duo of Lappin and Smith over the first few laps, Labrooy got out of danger before the final bend to push home to second place in 3:12.07.
Pozzi progresses with fastest win
There was comfortable progression for Andrew Pozzi (Stratford-upon-Avon, Benke Blomkvist) into Tuesday’s 110m hurdles final as he won the first heat in a time of 13.29 (-1.7). After claiming world indoor 60m hurdles gold last month, the English athlete has his eyes set on adding the Commonwealth title to his collection, and this performance will have provided him with even more confidence. He recovered from clipping the fifth hurdle to come through and pass Antonio Alkana of South Africa to advance fastest.
Pozzi spoke afterwards: “It was a decent run and a decent time. I wasn’t sure what I would do over the 110m hurdles as it is so early but I’m in great shape from the indoors and showed that today.
“I really enjoyed competing out there; it was perfect conditions for hurdling. If it is like that tomorrow we should see some quick times. I saw some quick times in the 100m yesterday so I thought it would be like that for us today, and so it proved.”
David King (City of Plymouth, James Hillier) was fifth in his heat but his time of 13.74 (+2.0) was not quick enough to advance to Tuesday’s final.
Final awaits for Grabarz and Baker
Robbie Grabarz (Newham & Essex Beagles, Fuzz Caan) and Chris Baker (Sale Harriers Manchester, Graham Ravenscroft) were both comfortable qualifiers to the high jump final. Baker cleared every height first time for a clean card whilst despite one foul at 2.21m, Grabarz sailed over on the second attempt to reach the final; his first ever at a Commonwealth Games.
On his senior debut for England, Tom Gale (Team Bath, Denis Doyle) bowed out of the high jump after a mixed competition. He cleared final round jumps at both 2.10m and 2.15m before a clean first-time effort over 2.18m. However, he faltered over 2.21m which was not enough to get him in the top 12 for the final.
Eighth with three down for Lane
Gold Coast-based John Lane (Sheffield & Dearne, Toni Minichiello) began his decathlon campaign for England in mixed fashion, placing eighth overall after three events.
He firstly clocked 10.89 in the 100m to collect 885 points, before adding another 876 points with his 7.26m effort in the long jump. A 12.93m throw in the shot put mustered only 663 points which leaves him eighth overall with the high jump and 400m completing day one later this evening. The competition leader is Damien Warner (CAN) with 2766 points overall.
Diamond and Onuora go through
There was progression for both athletes in the women’s 400m heats as Emily Diamond (Bristol & West, Jared Deacon) and Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers, Rana Reider) manoeuvred through their heats on a scorching morning at the Carrara stadium, where temperatures hit 30 degrees celsius.
Diamond was up against 2010 Commonwealth champion Amantle Montsho (BOT) and Anastasia Le-Roy (JAM) who both went through as second and third fastest qualifiers. It was a tough test for the English athlete but she ran smartly from lane one to place third in 52.26 and seal automatic qualification to the semi-finals.
It was a longer wait for Onuora who was confirmed as one of the fastest qualifiers. The athletics team co-captain got out well but was hanging on in the closing stages, and was pushed out of the automatic spots into fifth. However, her time of 53.13 was enough to secure a place in the semi-final.
The action gets back underway at 7pm (AUS), 10am (UK) in the Carrara Stadium.