Saturday 11 July, 2020

Russell wins Commonwealth Games gold in 400mh; silver for Jackson

Janieve Russell of Jamaica.

Janieve Russell of Jamaica.

Janieve Russell secured the fourth gold medal for Jamaica at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia on Thursday with an easy victory in the women’s 400-metre hurdles at the Carrara Stadium Track.

The 24-year-old Russell ran a commanding race to cross the line a season-best in 54.33 over Scotland’s Eilidh Doyle (54.80) and South Africa’s Wenda Nel (54.96) who were second and third, respectively.

Jamaica’s 2017 national champion, Rhonda Whyte, who closed fast at the end just missed out on the bronze medal but her time of 55.02 was only good enough for fourth.

There were two other medals for Jamaica on the day as Jaheel Hyde claimed the bronze medal in the men's 400-metre hurdles, while Shericka Jackson won silver in the women's 200 metres as her more accomplished teammate Elaine Thompson could not deliver in front of watching compatriot Usain Bolt as the Olympic champion missed out on a medal.

Thompson had finished second in her semi-final 24 hours earlier, but worse was to come as she finished fourth in the Gold Coast final.

Thompson was going to have to improve on her semi-final performance to add a Commonwealth Games 200m title to her Olympic gold, but Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who beat her on Wednesday, again came out on top with a Games record of 22.09 seconds.

Jackson, a World Championships and Olympic 400-metre bronze medallist, clocked a personal-best 22.18 seconds for her silver medal. Dina Asher-Smith (22.29) of England dipped ahead  of Thompson (22.30), the double Olympic sprint champion, for the bronze.

Sashalee Forbes of Jamaica was disqualified.

The bronze for Asher-Smith was the first individual major championship medal for the 22-year-old after fourth at the 2017 World Championships and fifth at Rio 2016.

There was controversy in the men's 200m as England's Zharnel Hughes, who trains at Racers Track Club in Jamaica, won the race before being disqualified for stepping outside of his lane.

The 22-year-old was in the clear on the home straight when he appeared to lose his balance, stepping across Jereem Richards before lunging over the line - only to be later denied as Richards and Trinidad and Tobago took gold.

Hughes was only told after completing a victory lap and Team England then lodged an unsuccessful appeal, delaying the medal ceremony by 24 hours.

Canadian Aaron Brown (20.34) was promoted to second place, while Leon Reid (20.55) moved up to third. Jamaican Warren Weir (2071), who had finished eighth, moved up to seventh.

In the men's 400-metre hurdles, Hyde crossed the line in 49.16 seconds for his bronze medal.

British Virgin Island's Kyron McMaster (48.25) won the gold  just months after his coach Xavier Samuels died in Hurricane Irma in September. Bahamas' Jeffery Gibson took the silver in a season-best 49.10.

The three medals earned on the day pushed the country's total to 15 (4 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze).

Commonwealth Games action

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