This is Stuart Weir’s overall picture of day 4 on the athletics schedule at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He will do 3 articles today.
The weather in England has been unusually hot this summer, but this evening it turned cold. Athletes – for the first time – were coming out in tracksuits.
To be honest, it was not the most exciting day’s competition. The morning was largely taken up with six prelims (or heats as we call them in the UK) of the women’s 200m and 8 in the men’s 200. The top four in the men’s were:
1 Zharnel Hughes (England) 20.30
2 Emmanuel Esme (Cameroon) 20.44
3 Joseph Amoah (Ghana) 20.58
4 Jereem Richards (Trinidad) 20.68
And in the women’s
1 Favour Ofili (Nigeria)22.71
2 Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica) 22.80
3 Gina Bass (The Gambia) 22.87
4 Beth Dobbin (Scotland) 23.10
Christine Mboma (Namibia) ran 23.20
In quoting times, there are the usual caveats that some athletes had effectively stopped running by the finish line, mission accomplished, while others were still pressing for the line. It was a good effort by Elaine Thompson-Herah to turn up the morning after her 100m win. A real disappointment was the lack of an English runner, with Dina Asher-Smith withdrawing with injury and Darryl Neita opting not to run.
In the women’s high jump, the two Australian favorites, Eleanor Patterson (World Champion) and Nicola Olyslagers (Olympic medalist), each qualified for the final with one jump.
The men’s decathlon rumbled on through the day, with Lindon Victor (Grenada) leading at the halfway stage on 4329 points.
As far as finals went, there were three:
Matthew Denny won the men’s discus with 67.26m from England’s Lawrence Okoye, who commented: “It means a lot to me. I’ve not had a great year by any measure. I haven’t reached my potential and left lots of meters out there. Today wasn’t perfect, but to medal in front of a home crowd, it doesn’t get too much better than that. It’s a massive breakthrough for me. I have doubted myself quite a bit, so to do this means a lot”.
There was a Jamaican 1-2 in the Men’s 110 hurdles, with Rasheed Broadbell winning in 13.08 from Shane Brathwaite with Andrew Pozzi third. Sadly, Olympic champion, Hansle Parchment, withdrew with an injury.
“I’m really happy. It has been such a tough season, and I just haven’t quite got on top of things. That was all heart. It’s the crowd who gives us that energy. That wouldn’t have happened in another stadium. I dove for the line and just about got there. That medal was really needed. People probably don’t understand the toll the last few years have had on athletes, the Covid year, a delayed Olympics. It’s tough enough at the best of times. To have a home Championship is everything. This is why we hang about.”
The Men’s long jump could hardly have been closer, with Laquan Nairn (Bahamas) winning on countback from Sreeshankar Sreeshankar (India) after both jumped 8.08m.