Grenada’s Lindon Victor on Friday narrowly retained his Commonwealth Games decathlon crown as New Zealand shot putter Tom Walsh also held onto his title in Birmingham.
In a drama-filled session, 18-year-old Kenyan Jackline Chepkoech added Commonwealth gold in the 3,000m steeplechase to last year’s Under-20 world title.
She won in a Games record of 9 minutes, 15.68 seconds, but her victory was assured when Ugandan Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai fell badly as she contested the lead. Although limping badly, she bravely carried on to take bronze, but had to be taken off in a wheelchair.
There was no upset in the women’s triple jump.
Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts shed her bridesmaid’s tag — having been silver medalist at the 2018 Games and last month’s World Athletics Championships — to post a Games record of 14.94m.
The decathlon provided the edge-of-the-seat drama at Alexander Stadium.
Victor held on by the skin of his teeth as Australia’s Daniel Golubovic won the 1,500m comfortably, threatening to snatch the title away from him.
The Grenadan fell to the ground as he awaited the final tally, and to his relief, he had done just enough to deny Golubovic, winning by 36 points with a total of 8,233.
“Ahead of the 1,500m I just thought: ‘Don’t relinquish the lead. Run as hard as you need to win,’ and that’s exactly what I did,” 29-year-old Victor said.
Another Australian, Cedric Dubler, who had led Victor by 39 points coming into the final two events, took the bronze, as he did four years ago.
Walsh, the 2017 world champion, won the shot put with a mark of 22.26m as New Zealand compatriot Jacko Gill took silver with a personal best of 21.90m.
“I don’t want to lose to him [Gill], that’s for sure, but having Jacko alongside me [on the podium] will be a pretty special occasion. Jacko and I have been going head-to-head for 12 years now,” Walsh said.
England’s Scott Lincoln, who is a bricklayer by profession, took a surprise bronze with 20.57m.
Scotland’s George Miller became the oldest gold medalist in the history of the Commonwealth Games when Scotland beat Wales in the B2/B3 mixed pairs bowls.
The 75-year-old Miller is director for visually impaired bowler Melanie Innes, who along with Robert Barr and his lead director Sarah Jane beat Wales 16-9 in the final at Victoria Park, Lymington Spa.
“A year ago I never dreamed of being here. I got a phone call, and nearly fell off my chair to be honest. Here we are — where are we going to go from here?” Miller told the BBC.
“Bowls is easier for older people but any sport ... walking football, rugby, you name it. Get out there and exercise, play games and compete. It’s brilliant whatever age you are.”
Additional reporting by Reuters
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