4th August 2022
SILVER SUCCESS FOR SHAW AND OKOYE AT ALEXANDER STADIUM
There was a flurry of Commonwealth Games medals for the home nations athletes on the third day of action at the Alexander Stadium at Birmingham 2022.
Zac Shaw and Lawrence Okoye sealed silver medals for Team England, while Andrew Pozzi bagged the bronze. Meanwhile, Sammi Kinghorn ensured Scotland added to their athletics medal haul with a bronze medal in the women’s T53-53 1500m.
There was a silver medal for Zac Shaw (coach: Leon Baptiste, club: Cleethorpes) who added a Commonwealth medal to the European bronze medal that he secured last year. Shaw, who has been in the form of his career this season, ran another superb time which was just 0.01 outside his PB. He got a solid start out of the blocks and was level pegging with South Africa’s Ndodomzi Ntutu for over half the race, but his rival pushed on in the final few strides to leave the English man to settle with the silver.
Ten years on from making the Olympic final in London, Lawrence Okoye (Zane Duquemin, Croydon) achieved Commonwealth Games silver in the men’s discus. On a chilly night in Birmingham, Okoye’s early mark of 64.97m in round two saw him occupy a spot in the medal places throughout the competition. He improved to 64.99m in round five but he could not catch Australia’s Matthew Denny who improved his PB to 67.26m to take the gold.
Team Scotland’s Nicholas Percy (Zane Duquemin, Shaftesbury Barnet) ended his campaign in fifth with a best of 63.53m while Jersey’s Zane Duquemin (John Hillier, Shaftesbury Barnet) was 11th after throwing 57.97m.
Two-time Paralympic medallist Sammi Kinghorn (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) added a Commonwealth bronze medal to her career haul, as she took on the T53-53 1500m, a distance a little further than the Scottish athlete usually competes over.
Kinghorn is no stranger to the distance, but after medals in the 100m and 400m in Tokyo last year, the 1500m provided a test to the Red Star athlete, but she bided her time behind eventual winner, Madison de Rozario (AUS). As they entered the home straight, Kinghorn made an effort to pass her, but ultimately it was in vain as the fast-finishing Angela Ballard (AUS) caught her on the line to move her into the bronze medal spot.
Fellow Team Scotland athlete Melanie Woods (Rodger Harkins, Red Star) was fourth in a time of 3:56.52.
In the final track event of the evening, Andrew Pozzi (Stratford-upon-Avon) claimed a fantastic bronze medal in the men’s 110m hurdles final despite hitting the final hurdle and falling after the line.
The Midlands-born athlete was out in lane eight and enjoyed a clean race until the final barrier which he caught with his trailing leg, but he somehow managed to keep his balance and hold on for third place in a time of 13.37 (+0.9 m/s), narrowly ahead of fellow Team England athlete, Joshua Zeller (Bracknell), who was just 0.02 back. Rasheed Broadbell (JAM) equalled Colin Jackson’s Games record with a time of 13.08 on his way to gold.
On her Games debut, England’s Stacie Gaston Mondeville (Alison O’Riordan, Enfield and Haringey) ended the women’s F42-44 / 61-64 discus in sixth position with a best of 27.37m in her series which was a personal best. Wales’s Julie Rogers (Allen Adamson, DSW Para Academy) set a Games record for the F63 class as she finished eighth with a furthest throw of 20.57m.
Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) qualified for the women’s 400m hurdles final as she clocked 55.88 for third in heat two to secure automatic passage. In heat one, Lina Nielsen (Shaftesbury Barnet) crossed the line sixth in a time of 58.95.
Harry Kendall (David Hull, Tonbridge) completed day one of the decathlon in sixth position. He started the day with an 11.25 (0.0 m/s) clocking over 100m before a measure of 7.10m in the long jump took him up to seventh in the eight-man field. 13.62m in the shot put pushed him up to sixth, and he continued in that position after clearing 1.91m in the high jump. He rounded off the fifth event of the day with a clocking of 49.20 over 400m which left him on 3924 points overnight.
During the morning session, Anna Purchase (Mo Saatara, Notts) and Amber Simpson (Kevin Robinson, Deeside) booked their places in the women’s hammer throw final. Purchase, the British number two on the all-time list, threw 66.45m on her first attempt to make sure England would be represented in the final. Welsh athlete, Simpson was fifth overall with her best of 65.67m to also advance.
Several home nations athletes will battle it out for the medals in Saturday morning’s men’s 1500m final as six athletes qualified through the heats. World champion Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman, Edinburgh) will be joined by Scottish teammates Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas, Giffnock North) and Josh Kerr (Danny Mackey, Edinburgh), as well as English duo Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg, Birchfield) and Matthew Stonier (Chris & Sonia McGeorge, Invicta East Kent), and Wales’s Jake Heyward (Mark Rowland, Cardiff) for a tilt at the medals.
Wales’s Piers Copeland (Bob Smith, Pontypridd) and Isle of Man’s David Mullarkey did not progress through as they finished outside the automatic qualifying places in the slower of the two heats.
All three English athletes made their way into the women’s high jump final as Emily Borthwick (Wigan and District), Morgan Lake (Robbie Grabarz, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) and Laura Zialor (Jade Surman, Marshall Milton Keynes) all cleared 1.81m to progress.
Hannah Brier (Matt Elias, Swansea), Beth Dobbin (Leon Baptiste, Edinburgh) and Abi Galpin (Tom Druce) all comfortably advanced to the women’s 200m semi-finals after earning automatic qualification from their heats.
Welsh woman, Brier and Guernsey’s Galpin both went in heat three and claimed second and third respectively to ensure swift transition into the semis. Scotland’s Dobbin went in the fifth and final heat, finishing second in 23.10 (2.9 m/s) behind Jamaica’s Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills, Shaftesbury Barnet) and Adam Gemili (Blackheath and Bromley) comfortably sealed their spots in the men’s 200m semi-finals, while although Jersey’s Zachary Saunders and Guernsey’s Joe Chadwick (Joe McDonnell) missed out, they posted PBs of 21.35 and 21.54 (0.1 m/s) respectively.
Home Nations Medals
Gold: Hannah Cockroft [Women’s T33-34 100m]; Katarina Johnson-Thompson [Women’s Heptathlon]; Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker [Men’s T45-47 100m]; JohnBoy Smith [Men’s T53-54 Marathon]
Silver: Kare Adenegan [Women’s T33-34 100m]; Molly Caudery [Women’s Pole Vault]; Sophie Hahn [Women’s T37-38 100m]; Jade Lally [Women’s Discus]; Lawrence Okoye [Men’s Discus]; Eden Rainbow-Cooper [Women’s T53-54 Marathon]; Zac Shaw [Men’s T11-12 100m]
Bronze: Ola Abidogun [Men’s T45-47 100m]; Fabienne Andre [Women’s T33-34 100m]; Simon Lawson [Men’s T53-54 Marathon]; Daryll Neita [Women’s 100m]; Jade O’Dowda [Women’s Heptathlon]; Andrew Pozzi [Men’s 110m Hurdles]
Silver: Kate O’Connor [Women’s Heptathlon]
Gold: Eilish McColgan [Women’s 10,000m]
Silver: Sean Frame [Men’s T53-54 Marathon]
Bronze: Sammi Kinghorn [Women’s T53-54 1500m]
Gold: Olivia Breen [Women’s T37-38 100m], Aled Davies [Men’s F42-44 / 61-64 Discus]
Bronze: Harrison Walsh [Men’s F42-44 / 61-64 Discus]