GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – Yohan Blake wants to add a Commonwealth Games title to his collection from the Olympics and world championships.
Considering Usain Bolt is the only person who has ever run faster times in the 100 meters, Blake is a good chance.
The Jamaican star kicked off his Gold Coast 2018 campaign by qualifying fastest for the final after winning his semifinal heat in 10.06 seconds Sunday. That followed a 10.15 in his opening heat on the first afternoon of the track and field competition.
“There’s a lot more in the tank,” Blake said. “Don’t want to put too much thinking into it — just hold your head and get the job done because Usain told me, ‘You’ve got to win, you’ve got to do your best or you can’t go home.’ “
Kemar Hyman of the Cayman Islands was next in 10.10, followed by Adam Gimili of England in 10.11 and Akani Simbine of South Africa in 10.12.
Blake, the 2011 world champion who has a personal best of 9.69 for the 100, said Bolt sent him a message earlier saying “I believe in you.”
England’s Asha Philip led qualifiers into the women’s 100 final by winning her semifinal heat in 11.21 seconds. She was 0.01 ahead of Jamaica’s Christania Williams and 0.04 ahead of Michelle-Lee Ahye.
Uganda got its first gold medal of the games when Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei won the 5,000 meters in 13 minutes, 50.83 seconds from Mohammed Ahmed of Canada and Kenya’s Edward Pingua Zakayo.
The first gold medal inside the track and field stadium went to England’s Nick Miller, who broke a 12-year-old games record with a hammer throw of 80.26 meters.
Australia’s Matt Denny took silver with a personal best 74.88 and Mark Dry of Scotland produced a final throw of 73.12 to overtake Canada’s Adam Keenan for bronze.
The first gold medals in the athletics program were awarded in the 20-km race walks, with Australia winning both the morning events.
These were certainly no ordinary weekend walks along the beach.
Jemima Montag won gold after race-leading Claire Tallent was disqualified with 2 km to go. Tallent, who is married to 2012 Olympic race-walking champion Jared Tallent, burst into tears after being shown a third red card for a technical infringement.
The 20-year-old Montag finished the Currumbin Beachfront course in 1 hour, 32 minutes and 50 seconds, with Alana Barber of New Zealand taking silver and Bethan Davies of Wales picking up the bronze.
Montag said the disqualification was “heartbreaking” for Tallent.
“It’s not the way that I would have liked to win gold but when things like that happen, you have to stay in the moment and not lose focus,” Montag said.
Dane Bird-Smith set a games record 1:19.34 to win the men’s race ahead of England’s Tom Bosworth and Samuel Ireri Tathimba of Kenya.