Akani Simbine and Michelle-Lee Ahye are the new king and queen of Commonwealth sprinting after over-turning Jamaican opposition to win the 100m titles.
Simbine was in control all the way in the men’s race to win in 10.03 (+0.8) from compatriot Henricho Bruintjies (10.17) and Yohan Blake (10.19) of Jamaica. A poor start meant Blake was never in the race to claim Jamaica’s fourth straight Commonwealth title.
Adam Gemili, second to Blake in the fastest of the semi-finals, was a scratch from the final due to an adductor muscle injury.
Simbine is the first South African to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth 100m.
Ahye’s win gave Trinidad and Tobago its first athletics gold medal since Ato Boldon won the 100m in Games record time in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and its first women’s athletics gold medal.
Ahye looked the favourite all through the rounds, but a poor start by her main rival, Christania Williams of Jamaica, cleared her path to the gold. Williams charged through the field but fell 0.07 seconds short of Ahye’s 11.14 at the line.
Valerie Adams will return to international competition at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games after the birth of her first child. Great as the venerable Dame Valerie’s record is, she may have to add to it to re-establish herself as New Zealand’s best shot putter.
Tom Walsh – Tom Terrific – added one of the two titles missing from his resume when he won the men’s shot put on the second day of competition at Carrara Stadium. Since 2014, Walsh has acquired a world championships gold medal, two world indoor titles and Olympic bronze medal and, now, a Commonwealth gold.
All that is missing is the Olympic title, and who is to say the 26-year-old will not rectify that at Tokyo 2020.
Walsh was over a metre short of his Games record 22.45m in qualifying the previous day. It says a lot about his recent form that you can be mildly disappointed with a throw of ‘only’ 21.41m, but there it is.
So far in 2018, Walsh has set an outdoor Commonwealth record 22.67m, won the World Indoor Championship, and had nine competitions (including qualifying here) with just one below 21 metres. And that one produced a 20.99m.