Sunday 12 July, 2020

Yohan Blake fails to win 100m gold medal at Commonwealth Games

South Africa's Akani Simbine, left, celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at Carrara Stadium during the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Monday, April 9, 2018. Jamaica's Yohan Blake, right, finished third.

South Africa's Akani Simbine, left, celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at Carrara Stadium during the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Monday, April 9, 2018. Jamaica's Yohan Blake, right, finished third.

Yohan Blake won the men's 100-metre bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia on Monday and may be thinking twice about going home to Jamaica.

Usain Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record holder, joked that Blake may not be welcome home if he didn't win the title on the Gold Coast.

The 28-year-old Blake was relegated to third by the South African pair of Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies at the Carrara Stadium 

The 2011 world champion entered Monday's final as the hot favorite after posting the quickest time of the season and in the first two rounds, but stumbled early and never regained his form against the two runners to his right.

Simbine, who was fifth at the 2016 Olympics and at last year's world titles, won in 10.03 second, with Bruintjies second in 10.17, shading Blake by 0.02.

There were two other medals for Jamaica on the day as Christania Williams and Gayon Evans won silver and bronze respectively in the women's 100-metre final.

Trinidad and Tobago's Michelle-Lee Ahye triumphed in the women's race,  her first gold medal at a major international meet.

She celebrated with an air punch as she crossed the finish line in 11.14 seconds and relegated Williams (11.21) and Gayon Evans (personal best 11.22) to silver and bronze. England's Asha Philip was fourth in a repeat of her finish in Glasgow four years ago.

The win for Ahye, a finalist at the 2016 Olympics and the last two world championships, delivered Trinidad and Tobago their first Commonwealth title in the women's 100 and meant a Jamaican hasn't won the title since 2006. It came in the absence of the top Jamaican, Elaine Thompson, who won the Olympic 100-200 double in 2016 but is only running the 200 on the Gold Coast.

Earlier, Jamaica O'Dayne Richards failed to medal in the men's shot put final as the 2014 champion could only managed fourth place.

World champion Tom Walsh won the shot put gold for New Zealand at 21.41 metres after a setting a games record 22.45 in qualifying.

Nigeria's Chukwuebuka Enekwechi took silver at a personal best 21.14, narrowly ahead of Canadian Tim Nedow, with a season-best 20.91 metres. Richards' best effort was 20.80 metres, while his Jamaican teammate Ashinia Miller finished seventh with 19.68 metres.

Meanwhile, two of the three Jamaican quarter-milers have progressed to the medal round of the men's 400 metres.

They are Javon Francis and Rusheen McDonald, while Demish Gaye did not progress from the semi-finals after clocking 45.85 seconds for third place in his heat behind Grenadian Bralon Taplin (45.44) and Baboloki Thebe (45.54) of Botswana.

Francis booked his spot in the final with a second place finish behind Isaac Makwala of Botswana in the first of three semi-finals.

Makwala coasted across the line to win  in 45.00 and then did three press ups as his rivals slumped behind him, heaving in deep breaths.

Makwala, who reached the 200 final at last year's world championships days after being refused entry to the stadium for the 400 final because of quarantine restrictions amid a viral outbreak, is targeting his first medal at a major meet.

Francis  was next fastest at 45.38.

McDonald (45.77) also finished second in his heat to book his spot. India's Muhammed Anas Yahiya reached the final by winning the heat in 45.44, the joint third fastest time.

In the women's 400 metres, defending champions Stephenie Ann McPherson will lead three Jamaicans into the semi-finals.

McPherson (50.80) secured a comfortable victory in Heat 2 of the first round to advance with the fastest qualifying time. 

Anastasia Le-Roy (season-best 51.37) finished second behind Amantle Montsho (51.20) in Heat 1 of the first round and Tovea Jenkins (52.85) crossed the line in second place behind Kenyan Maximila Imali (51.74) in Heat 3.

The women's 400-metre semi-finals will take place on Tuesday with the first of three races scheduled to start at 6:16 am Jamaica time.

The men's 400-metre final will also take place on Tuesday, starting at 6:48 am.

And all three Jamaican sprint hurdlers are in the medal round of the men's 110-metre hurdles, which will also take place on Tuesday. That final is scheduled to get off at 4:45 am.

Hansle Parchment (13.30), who beat his Jamaican teammate Ronald Levy (13.35) in the second of two heats in Round 1, will enter the final with the second fastest qualifying time. Levy has the fourth fastest qualifying time.

The other Jamaican - Calabar High student De'Jour Russell (13.64) advanced to the final as one of the two fastest losers after a fourth place finish in Heat 1. Englishman Andrew Pozzi won the heat in 13.29 to advance as the fastest qualifier.

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