Monday, 18 February, 2019

'All over the place' - Blake blames stumble for 100m shock

Mixed results for SA hockey teams Simbine's shock success
Deanna Wagner | 11 April, 2018, 04:53

Affirming South Africa's status as a global sprinting powerhouse Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies sprinted to a rare gold-silver double at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The Jamaican 2011 world champion was involved in a photo-finish with Nigerian Seye Ogunlewe, before being awarded with the bronze in 10.19s.

Ahye is the second athlete from her country to take gold in the event, after Ato Boldon, victor of the men's race at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games, with a record time of 9.88s.

So the pressure on Blake intensified.

Blake - the 2011 World Championship 100m victor whose personal best of 9.69sec remains the second fastest in history behind former training partner Usain Bolt - had been heavily favoured but never recovered from a awful start.

"Usain Bolt has left his legacy for us to carry on and that's what we want to do", said Blake in the days leading up to the race. "I'm a bit disappointed because I've been feeling good, I've been running good". The sprinter produced his customary top-end speed after a sluggish start to cross the line in first place. "I felt lacking in confidence, like silver wasn't good enough but I know I did the best race I could". "I felt (it was) just like a big embrace and I wanted to give them something that reflected the best I could do, and my only real regret today was that I was unable to show them", she said.

"Being able to run in lane 8-9 with Henricho, and placing first and second with him is wonderful", he said.

Jamaica was also denied in the women's 100, with Trinidad and Tobago's Michelle-Lee Ahye taking the gold in 11.14, holding off Blake's team mate Christania Williams (11.21) and third-placed Gayon Evans. England's Asha Philip was fourth in a repeat of her finish in Glasgow four years ago.

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"I don't have a Commonwealth medal".

Tatjana Schoenmaker was presented with her second breaststroke gold of the Games following her success in the 100m on a memorable day for South Africa. "It means a lot".

Chukwuebula Enekwechi of Nigeria produced a huge personal best of 21.14m to take the silver medal. Akani Simbine of South Africa.

Isaac Makwala of Botswana coasted across the line to win the opening heat of the 400 semifinals in 45.00 and then did three press ups as his rivals slumped behind him, heaving in deep breaths.

Makwala, who was barred from competing in the world championships' 400 final in London previous year over illness fears, qualified fastest for the final with a time of 45.00 seconds. Javon Francis of Jamaica was next fastest at 45.38 and India's Muhammed Anas Yahiya reached the final by winning his heat in 45.44.

Canada's Damian Warner began the defence of his decathlon title with a season's best 10.29 seconds in the 100m.