10th April 2018
COURTNEY SNATCHES COMMONWEALTH BRONZE WITH GUTSY PERFORMANCE
A superb late surge from Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) saw her snatch a bronze medal in the women’s 1500m, the only home nations medal won on day three.
The 24-year-old found another gear in the closing stages to pass Australian Linden Hall on the home straight and record a new personal best of 4:03.44 in the process.
A home nations heavy field saw Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall) sixth in 4:04.30, followed home by Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman) in a season’s best 4:05.56, and Sarah McDonald (David Harmer) in 4:05.77 respectively.
Katie Snowden (Rob Denmark), Ciara Mageean (Steve Vernon) and Jess Judd (Mick Judd) finished 10th, 12th and 14th respectively.
“I couldn’t believe how many Welsh fans there were out there. It was great to see them all. The last two races I’ve done, I just raced really smart,” Courtney said after winning bronze.
“I just focused on myself and didn’t think about the rest of the race. I had no idea what the pace was, I just knew I had to keep going forwards.”
The early morning session saw more success as 12 home nations athletes qualified for finals and semi-finals to take place over the coming days, including a clean sweep in the women’s 200m heats.
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie), Finette Agyapong (Coral Nourrice), Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) and Amy Foster (David Reid) all progressed into tomorrow’s semi-finals, with Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson) and Leon Reid (James Hillier) all booking their places for the men’s races.
Sam Dawkins (Geoff King) missed out after finishing his heat in seventh, but recorded a personal best 21.91, a new national record for his native Jersey.
Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh) equalled his season’s best with an impressive 8.02m (1.3m/s) to ensure automatic qualification for tomorrow’s long jump final. Northern Ireland’s Adam McMullen (Adam Kennedy) was unable to join him, he managed a best of 7.66m (0.7m/s).
Andy Pozzi (Benke Blomkvist) kicked off the evening session on the track, finishing equal sixth in the men’s 110m hurdles final. Afterwards he admitted that after hitting the first hurdle, he had a lot of ground to make up.
He said: “I started to make some headway but through rushing things made mistakes and it just wasn’t good.
“It’s an event where you can’t make a mistake. Tonight, I made too many and wasn’t good enough. There were several people who did a better job and they got what they deserved.”
Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) finished the women’s T54 1500m fourth in 3:37.91 with Nicole Emerson (Ian Thompson) sixth in a season’s best 3:51.28.
A late surge from Nathan Maguire (Steve Hoskins) and Dillon Labrooy (Jenny Archer) was not quite enough for a T54 1500m medal as they were edged into fourth and fifth position in 3:12.73 and 3:12.82 respectively
Despite controlling the majority of the race, Richard Chiassaro (Jennifer Banks) finished in eighth in 3:18.63 after suffering a puncture, with Northern Ireland’s Jack Agnew (Heather Ardis) tenth in 3:19.03.
“It was an argy-bargy kind of race where you just try and not get boxed in,” Maguire added. “It was a bit annoying – people kept coming on my outside and I was having to fight them off a little bit. It just came down to the final sprint.
“Someone came round me and got me boxed and I couldn’t get out quick enough to be able to make my move. The sprint at the end was great and the guys were phenomenal. 3rd, 4thand 5th came across the line within 0.3 of a second, so it was nice to be able to share that with Dillon.”
Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) failed to record a distance as she threw three fouls in the women’s hammer, leaving Caryl Granville (Darrell Maynard) as the sole home nations competitor. She finished sixth with a best of 61.58m.
“It just wasn’t quite there today,” said Hitchon. “The warm-ups were really good but it just didn’t happen. I’ve been working on a new technique and I’ve got to keep working on it because it is definitely the way forward. When I land it, it will go very far.
“It’s track and field; it happens sometimes – I didn’t execute so it didn’t quite work. It’s part of the sport. I was utterly devastated after the world final last year but I told myself after London that I wasn’t going to cry.
“No one in 2014 thought I was going to win a medal in Rio, so two years out from Tokyo, I’ll be ready for it.”
Earlier on day three, Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg) and Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) both qualified for the men’s 800m final in 1:45.61 and 1:47.43 respectively with Elliot Giles (Bigg), Andrew Osagie (Mark Rowland), Guy Learmonth (Henry Gray) and Joseph Reid (Matt Elias) were all edged out in their heats.
Jack Green (self-coached) dipped on the line to secure automatic progression into the men’s 400m hurdles final in 49.24. Guernsey’s Alastair Chalmers (Dale Garland) missed out on a spot in the final, but set a new personal best of 51.10.
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) eased to victory and automatic qualification in the women’s 400m hurdles heats, winning in 54.80. Meghan Beesley (Michael Baker), Jess Turner (Nick Dakin) and Caryl Granville (Darrell Maynard) all missed out on a place in the final, clocking 56.41, 58.26 and 59.28 respectively.
John Lane (Toni Minichiello) finished sixth in the men’s decathlon and despite winning the men’s 1500m and reaching 4.80m in the pole vault, Ben Gregory (Aston Moore) ended the event in seventh.