Thompson-Herah seals Commonwealth double | The star of the day

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates her victory and gold medal, and sets a new Commonwealth record in the women’s 200m athletics final at Alexander Stadium. Photo: AFP

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Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates her victory and gold medal, and sets a new Commonwealth record in the women’s 200m athletics final at Alexander Stadium. Photo: AFP

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah completed a double in the sprint at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday as Australia got rid of England at the top of the medal table.

The Jamaican sprint star, 30, headlined the penultimate evening of athletics competition in Birmingham and did not disappoint the crowd, smashing the field to win the women’s 200m in a Games record of 22.02 seconds.

“I was going for a Games record in the 100m and it didn’t work out, so I said, ‘I have to get it in the 200m,'” Thompson-Herah said.

“I am grateful to claim this gold today, the day we celebrate Independence Day in Jamaica.”

Thompson-Herah stood on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics last year in the 100m and 200m, retaining the titles she won in Rio four years earlier.

But she only won bronze in the 100m behind compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson at last month’s world championships and finished seventh in the 200m final.

“I knew I had more races coming up. I’m not a quitter,” Thompson-Herah said of her disappointing world championship results.

– ‘Learn, carry on’ –
“It’s a motivation for me to keep learning and keep going.”

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m earlier in the Games, faced a tough task on paper in the 200m final despite the absence of her Jamaican rivals.

But she finished nearly half a second ahead of Nigeria’s Favor Ofili, with Namibian Olympic silver medalist Christine Mboma taking bronze.

Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago won the men’s 200m in a Games record time of 19.80sec.

World bronze medalist Mary Moraa produced a stunning late flurry to win in a top-tier women’s 800m field, clocking 1min 57.07sec.

The Kenyan faded after a fast start but found a second wind to propel England’s Olympic silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson to gold. Scotland’s Laura Muir won bronze, her first Commonwealth medal.

“I tried to run 57 or 58 seconds for the first 400 meters, but I think I was at 56 or something (56.8),” Moraa said. “When I reached the 500m, I think everyone passed me.

“But with 200 to go, I closed the gap and knew I had to push myself until the end.”

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo beat Kenyan duo Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Jacob Krop in the straight to win the 5,000m with a season-best time of 13min 8.08s, completing a double in Birmingham after his previous victory over 10,000m.

“It was a wonderful performance for me (at the Games),” he said. “I have two (gold medals) and I’m so happy about it.”

Alastair Chalmers won Guernsey’s first-ever athletics medal by winning bronze in the men’s 400m hurdles.

In the morning session, Australian Oliver Hoare upset world champion Jake Wightman and Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot to take gold in the 1500m.

The 25-year-old rode a blistering late finish to cross the line in 3:30.12, breaking a 48-year-old Games record.

Australia’s Jemima Montag won gold in the women’s 10,000m race walk, but Eleanor Patterson, recently crowned world champion in the high jump, was pushed into second place by Jamaica’s Lamara Distin.

– Diving glory for Australia –
Australia won two gold medals on the final night of action in the diving pool, women’s 3m synchro and 10m synchro platform.

England swept the podium in the men’s 3m springboard but Jack Laugher missed out on a third gold in Birmingham after a disappointing penultimate dive forced to settle for bronze.

Hot favorites Australia beat New Zealand by five wickets in their Women’s Twenty20 cricket semi-final clash at Edgbaston to set up a gold medal game against India, who edged out the England by four points in a thriller.

England were also beaten in the netball semi-final by Australia, who will meet Jamaica in the final.

India beat South Africa 3-2 in the men’s hockey semi-final and will face Australia in Monday’s gold medal game after the six-time defending champions beat England on the same score.

The bowls competition ended on Saturday, with Australia winning two of the last three gold medals on offer, in women’s duet and men’s singles.

Just two days away from the competition, Australia lead the overall medal standings in Birmingham with 59 gold medals, nine ahead of hosts England.

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