Twenty-year-old Nick Hough (NSW) has recorded a new personal best and come within 0.08 seconds of a bronze medal in the men’s 110m hurdles final on Day Three of the Commonwealth Games athletics at Hampden Park in Glasgow (SCO) on Tuesday night.
In just his first ever open age international championship, Hough showed remarkable composure to match it with the rest of the more experienced field in the Final of the high hurdles. He pushed eventual bronze medallist Shane Brathwaite (BAR) right to the line. Brathwaite hit the line in 13.49 with the IAAF World Junior Championships silver medallist right behind him in 13.57 (w: -0.3), Hough improving his personal best by 0.08 seconds in the process.
“I’ve been having some sensational starts and that was another one,” a delighted Hough said. “I knew I had to execute it from the start and I came out and did it in the race.
“I’m absolutely surprised. I was ranked 15th coming in to this and go home fourth placed in the final. I didn’t even think I’d make a final. It’s ridiculous.”
“I’m so happy with how I ran. People always say that fourth is the worst place to come, but it’s the best place I’ve ever come and it’s a great achievement. I had no idea what to expect here and I just wanted to run faster than I ever have before and I’ve done that. I’m amazed.”
There was disappointment on the track, however, as Australian hope in the men’s 400m Steve Solomon (NSW) injured his left hamstring at the 200 metre mark of his Semi-Final. Solomon had started well and was looking to be in a strong position to challenge for a berth in the Final when he slowed suddenly, clutching his left hamstring.
“It’s all part of sport,” Solomon said after having medical treatment. “The road to victory is sometimes the same road to injury. I am a little cold at the moment with what happened tonight. I had an incredible warm up alongside team mate and mentor John Steffensen, and I went into the race feeling stronger and faster than ever before. I had never got to the 200m mark feeling so fresh, but when I went to start putting on the burners around the top bend I felt my leg go.
“I have an amazing support network and to all my friends and family back home your thoughts and wishes are so appreciated. I am already doing everything within my power to jump into my rehabilitation with all my energy. I’m looking forward to spending five weeks back home in Sydney with my family before heading back to start my junior year at Stanford.”
In the women’s triple jump Final, Linda Leverton (Qld) finished in 5th place as teammate Ellen Pettitt (Vic) came sixth.
After assuring herself of a top eight place and an extra three jumps through her third round leap of 13.57m (wind +1.8), Leverton improved further in round four to splash down in the sand at 13.69m (w: +0.9). Despite registering two further jumps over the 13.50m mark, Leverton couldn’t quite improve on her fourth round effort and finished in fifth place in just her first appearance at a senior international championship.
Pettitt started the competition with a foul before pulling out a new personal best jump of 13.54m in round two that temporarily had her in the bronze medal position. The Victorian couldn’t quite replicate that form for the rest of the event but her second round mark was still good enough to give her a sixth place finish in the Final.
Tim Driesen (ACT) also finished in fifth place in the men’s hammer throw Final, improving on his seventh-place finish at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Driesen threw 69.24m in Round Three to ensure he made the top eight, before unleashing a season’s best throw of 69.94m in Round 5 which saw him secure a top five finish.
In the women’s 1500m final Kaila McKnight (Vic) and Melissa Duncan (Vic) stayed with the pace through the first three laps before the leaders eventually got away from them. McKnight finished in eighth place in 4:12.77 while Duncan ran 10th in 4:14.10.
The men’s decathlon concluded after two days of competition, with Steve Cain (Vic) claiming fifth place with a total of 7,787 points. Cain opened the afternoon session with a best javelin throw of 62.68m to earn 778 points before closing out the grueling two-day, ten-event competition by running 4:40.29 to finish fourth in the 1500m (678 points).
“I’m old enough now to know that even when injuries get in the way you have to put it together on the day and the last couple I have been able to do that,” a happy Cain said.
“It was the most fun and most relaxed competition that I’ve ever done. I just had tingles looking around, the stadium was amazing and seeing the signs saying Glasgow 2014 and knowing it was real was just surreal. It’s something I have worked for so long to get to. It is just amazing, just awesome.”
Fellow multi-eventer Jake Stein (NSW) threw 68.25m in the javelin (863 points) and ran 4:53.12 in the 1500m (600 points). Stein, who failed to record any points in the opening 100m race of the decathlon after false starting twice and being disqualified, finished in 14th place overall in the decathlon with 7,005 points.
At the end of the first day of competition of the women’s heptathlon, Sophie Stanwell (NSW) sits in seventh place on 2,453pts. After her efforts in the 100m hurdles and high jump in the morning session, Stanwell threw 11.96m in the shot put for 658 points and ran 24.35 (+0.2) in the 200m to earn 947 more. She will compete in the final three events of the Heptathlon – the long jump, javelin and 800m – on Wednesday.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games commenced in Glasgow on Wednesday 23 July, with athletics competition spanning seven days from Sunday 27 July. The competing Australian athletics team is 98-strong, the largest ever to compete in the green and gold offshore.
ATHLETICS DAY FOUR – AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION
Events on day four, together with competing athletes are listed below.
The session start time is listed in Australian Eastern Standard Time and events in the order of occurrence.
Session One – 7:02pm AEST, Wednesday 30 July onwards at Hampden Park
Women’s Heptathlon: Sophie Stanwell (NSW)
Men’s 200m (Round 1): Jarrod Geddes (NSW)
Women’s Long Jump (Qualifying): Margaret Gayen (SA), Jessica Penney (ACT)
Men’s Discus Throw (Qualifying): Julian Wruck (Qld), Benn Harradine (Qld)
Women’s High Jump (Qualifying): Eleanor Patterson (Vic), Hannah Joye (Qld), Zoe Timmers (WA)
Women’s 800m (Round 1): Brittany McGowan (Qld), Katherine Katsanevakis (Vic)
Session Two – 3:30am AEST, Thursday 31 July onwards at Hampden Park
Women’s Heptathlon: Sophie Stanwell (NSW)
Women’s 200m (Round 1): Ella Nelson (NSW), Ash Whittaker (Vic)
Men’s High Jump (Final): Brandon Starc (NSW), Nik Bojic (Qld)
Men’s Long Jump (Final): Henry Frayne (Qld), Robbie Crowther (Qld), Fabrice Lapierre (NSW)
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase (Final): Genevieve LaCaze (Qld), Madeline Heiner (NSW), Victoria Mitchell (NSW)
Women’s Javelin (Final): Kim Mickle (WA), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT)
Women’s Shot Put (Final): Kim Mulhall (Vic)
Men’s 800m (Semi-Final): Jeff Riseley (Vic)Nick Hough surprises in Glasgow,