Kenya’s David Rudisha picks up right where he left off in 800m
GLASGOW, Scotland // Olympic champion David Rudisha cruised into the semi-finals of the men’s 800 metres after safely negotiating his heat at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
The world record holder set the fastest qualifying time of one minute, 46.89 seconds and was happy with his outing.
“Today was all about qualifying for the second round tomorrow,” said Rudisha. “I tried to reserve as much energy as possible.”
Rudisha had the standout performance on the track at the 2012 London Olympics when he ran 800m in just shy of 101 seconds.
“I’m very happy to be here,” he said. “I only started training in March. It’s been a tough year and I know I’m going to struggle, but my focus is next year. That said, this is not the Diamond League, this is a championships.”
The men’s 110m hurdles was blown wide open when England’s defending champion Andy Turner pulled up and Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment was a non-starter.
Turner was off-kilter out of the blocks, clipped the first two hurdles and pulled up before stumbling into the third to bring a premature, and angry, end to his Games’ participation.
“I got too close to the first hurdle and hit the second one and that was it,” said Turner, also a world bronze medallist from Daegu in 2011.
“It was a schoolboy error. I’m gutted as I have been training well coming into the Games.”
With Parchment failing to make it to the start line, Jamaica’s Andrew Riley, Barbadian 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite and England’s William Sharman were left fancying their chances.
Canada’s Damian Warner remained atop the decathlon as teammate and world silver medallist Brianne Thiesen-Eaton kicked off the heptathlon as favourite.
Warner, with an overnight score of 4378 points, ran the 110m hurdles in an impressive 13.50 seconds and had a season’s best 41.31m in the discus to sit on 6109 points with just the pole vault, javelin and 1500m to come.
Thiesen-Eaton, wife of US world and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, clocked 13.18 in the 100m hurdles but was upstaged by compatriot Jessica Zelinka, who set a Games record of 12.83.
Hosts Scotland broke their record for medals won at a Commonwealth Games when Jen McIntosh won silver in the women’s 50m rifle, three positions.
Scotland had set a record for gold medals on Monday – their tally of 13 eclipsing the 11 won in 2006 – and yesterday they surpassed the 33 medals they won when they last hosted the event in Edinburgh in 1986.
McIntosh’s silver took Scotland to 34 medals – matching their pre-Games target with five days of competition remaining.
Scotland’s men’s gymnastics team of Frank Baines, Adam Cox, Liam Davie, Dan Keatings and Dan Purvis then swelled the tally to 35 with a silver in the team event.
Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley has announced she will retire from cycling after she competes for England in Sunday’s road race.
Pooley, 31, won a time-trial silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“You have to go sometime. I considered retiring after the London Olympics, but I didn’t feel like I was ready,” the 2010 world road time-trial champion said on the Rouleur cycling website.
“I’ve been mulling it over and came to the conclusion that the Commonwealth Games is the perfect opportunity – it’s a big event, it’s almost at home, and I want to go out properly, when I’ve planned it and have no regrets.”
Youngest female gold medallist tests positive for drugs
A 16-year-old Nigerian weightlifter failed a doping test after becoming the youngest female to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the sport, organisers said on Tuesday.
Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the Glasgow Games after testing positive for diuretics and masking agents after winning the 53-kilogram division last Friday.
Amalaha’s “A” sample contained amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, which are both banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). Amalaha asked for the backup “B” sample to be tested, which will happen in London on Wednesday.
Amalaha would be stripped of the gold medal if the second sample also comes back positive.
Wada is set to investigate how someone so young had access to banned substances.
“I am rather saddened and disappointed this has happened to a 16-year-old,” Wada president Craig Reedie said. “We will need to see if the ‘B’ sample matches the ‘A’. Then if it does the girl will be removed from the games and it will be up to the international weightlifting federation to apply a sanction and then she would lose her medal.
“Wada will look at the circumstances surrounding this case once we know the full facts.”
The test was part of an anti-doping programme at the games targeting specific sports based largely on intelligence, rather than testing every medal winner.
“It shows we have a very robust anti-doping programme in place,” Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said.
Amalaha set Commonwealth Games records in her weight category with a total of 196 kilograms, breaking the previous mark by 8kg. Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea won silver and Santoshi Matsa of India earned the bronze.
Kiwis and Canadians top mountain biking
Mountain biking returned to the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday with Canada and New Zealand on top at the Cathkin Braes course.
New Zealand claimed the top two spots in the men’s cross-country, which was dropped in Dehli four years ago, as teenager Anton Cooper defeated compatriot Samuel Gaze by three seconds.
Canada continued its dominance of the women’s event to claim gold and silver.
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Published: July 29, 2014 04:00 AM