All posts by Gary Smith


Grenadian Kirani James wins Commonwealth Games 400m title with record run

GLASGOW (SportingAlert) — Grenadian star sprinter Kirani James defeated a very strong field to win the men’s 400m at the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Wednesday night.

The Olympic champion, who entered the Commonwealth Games as the overwhelming favourite, ran 44.25 seconds to also shattered the meeting record of 44.52secs, which was set in 1998 by Iwan Thomas of Wales.

James took control of the race from the beginning and then made another move at the 200m mark as he heads into the home straight.

The 21-year-old was forced to find another gear in the closing metres though, after he was challenged by Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa, who ran brilliantly well for the silver medal.

“The race wasn’t as fast as it looked but Kirani James took real charge of things,” said former sprinter and 400m world record holder Michael Johnson on BBC One.

“It was a great effort from Wayde van Niekerek who ran the 200m prelims this morning. Maybe if he hadn’t have done that he could have got that bit closer to James and pushed him all the way to the line.

Van Niekerk was second in 44.68 and it was a brave effort from the South African sprinter.

“A really brave effort from Wayde van Niekerk who gave Kirani James a run for his money but the man from Grenada answered all the questions he was asked. He’s on top of the world again,” BBC Sport athletics commentator Steve Cram said.

London Olympic Games bronze medal winner Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 44.78, with England’s Martyn Rooney finishing fourth in 45.15.

Veteran Chris Brown of the Bahamas, who was one of the runners on the list of medal contenders, did not start in the final.


Okagbare and Bailey-Cole are Commonwealth Games 100m champions

GLASGOW (SportingAlert) — Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria and Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole won the men’s and women’s 100m titles at the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park on Monday.

Okagbare, who started the day as the 1/4 favourite to win the gold medal, showed her class against a very strong field on her way to clocking a Commonwealth Games record of 10.85 seconds for the title.

“I am so excited right now! A new season’s best and win. I’m happy I was able to put on a show,” Okagbare told BBC Sport.

“I executed it and stayed patient like my coach said I should and after 70 metres it just felt easy!

The Nigerian is the heavy favourite win the 200m and the long jump and she is looking forward to competing in those as well.

“I still have the 200m and the long jump and I’m looking forward to both of those events now.”

Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown collected the silver medal in 11.03secs, with countrywoman Kerron Stewart taking the bronze in 11.07.

England’s Asha Phillip took fourth place, and although she missed out at winning a medal, the sprinter was happy with her new personal best time of 11.18.

She told BBC Sport after the race: “Fourth is always the first loser as people say, but I’m so proud of myself.

“I wanted a medal but it’s my first Commonwealth Games and I’ve loved the experience. I am going to take it on the chin and there’s more to come from me.”

Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Bailey-Cole used a strong finish to secure the gold medal in 10.00seconds, while his teammate and world record holder Usain Bolt watched.

“It means a lot because it’s my first individual medal at a Championship,” Bailey-Cole speaking to BBC Radio 5. “It’s just the start of the individual medals.

“The aim was to come out here and win and I did just that. I said to myself ‘these guys can’t beat me’”.

The Jamaican sped home ahead of England’s Adam Gemili, who clocked 10.10 seconds, while Jamaican champion Nickel Ashmeade, the 4/1 favourite at the start of the day, won the bronze in 10.12.

“This is my first senior medal. I’m speechless,” Gemili told BBC Sport after winning the silver medal. “There’s so much prepration that goes into running 10 seconds – my team put a lot of work in behind the scenes. I can’t believe it, this is my first time representing England and I’m so happy.

“This is something I’m never going to forget. It’s not about times today, it’s positions because the times will come.

“Medals are what count and this is a stepping stone now for the Europeans, Worlds and then Rio in 2016.”

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins outdoors 60m in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Sporting Alert) — Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the 60m dash (outdoor) at The Queen’s/Grace Jackson Meet – a local meet held on Saturday to open her season.

Fraser-Pryce, who said she plans to run at the upcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships, clocked 7.11 seconds (+0.4m/s) to take the win.

The Jamaican, who holds a personal indoor best of 7.04secs in the event, set in Stockholm, last February, wanted to see how well her training was going in preparation for the Worlds, which will be held in Sopot Poland, from March 7-9.

She said prior to running on Saturday: “I am looking forward to (running the 60m) because I want to know where I am in terms of training and how training has been going.

“I will be going away to compete in some 60 metres, which I know will provide huge competition and I will get to see where exactly I am. The plan is to do the World Indoor Championships, so I will just be working towards that.”

Fraser-Pryce won the 100m and 200m sprint double at the World Outdoor Championships last year and then anchored Jamaica’s 4x100m to sealed her third gold medal.

Meanwhile, her fellow training partner Nesta Carter won the men’s 60m race in 6.52secs, running in a -1.1m/s.

Watch Zurich Diamond League Live On Universal Sports

ZURICH (Sporting Alert) — Triple World Championships gold medallist Usain Bolt returns to the track on Thursday at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

Watch Zurich Diamond League Live On Universal Sports

Bolt, who won three gold medals at this months world championships in Moscow, Russia, will race in the men’s 100-metres where he will go up against American Justin Gatlin, the man who finished second to him at the worlds.

Another Jamaican and worlds bronze medallist in the distant, Nesta Carter is also entered in the event, along with countrymen Kemar Cole-Bailey and Nickel Ashmeade.

Great Britain’s Adam Gemili and USA’s Walter Dix are also in the starting list.

Bolt’s fellow countrywoman Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, another triple gold medal winner in Moscow, will race in the women’s 200m dash where she is expected to face Murielle Ahoure, who finished second to the Jamaican in the 100m and 200m earlier this month.

The men’s 400m will see American world champion LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James of Grenada.

This battle was billed to be a very close one in Moscow, but James shockingly faded in the home straight, which left Merritt to win the title unchallenged.

Elsewhere, on Thursday, a very exciting women’s 5000m field has been assembled with Ethiopian champion runners Tirunesh Dibaba going up against Meseret Defar, Kenya’s Mercy Cherono and USA’s Jenny Simpson.

Americans Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon are expected to battle in out in the men’s 800m, while the women’s race should see Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya and Americans Alysia Montano and Ajee Wilson in action.

In results on Wednesday, New Zealand world and Olympic champion Valerie Adams produced her best effort of the season, following a 20.98m to win the women’s Shot Put. She was the only one over the 20m barrier.

On the men’s side, American Ryan Whiting took the title with an effort of 22.03m, beating world champion David Storl of Germany, who did 21.19m.

Watch DN Galan IAAF Diamond League Live on Universal Sports

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Sporting Alert) — World champion LaShawn Merritt returns to the track on Thursday where he will contest the men’s 400m at DN Galan – IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm.

DN Galan IAAF Diamond League Live on Universal Sports | Follow Live Results

The American dominated the men’s one lap even at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia and he will be hoping to bring some of that form in Sweden.

His main rivals will not included Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada who had a very disappointing final rest in Moscow, but Silver medallist Tony McQuay of USA and Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic, who won the bronze are both in the line up.

The women’s 100m will see Americans Alexandria Anderson, Barbara Pierre and Jeneba Tarmoh going up against Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart, who finished fifth at the world championships between teammate and sprint double champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will not compete here.

After a poor race strategy cost her a medal at the world championships, American Alysia Montano will look to forget those disappointment quickly when she takes on a solid field in the women’s 800m.

Montano led for most the race in Moscow, but was overtaken and finished out of the medal places.

One of the women who surged by her in the closing metres before the finish line was teammate Brenda Martinez, who finished with the bronze and a new personal best and she is in tonight’s start list.

Gold medallist Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya, Russia’s Ekaterina Poistogova and USA’s Ajee’ Wilson, who also ran a personal best in Moscow will face the starter as well. Interestingly Sweden golden girl over 1500m Abeba Aregawi has also decided to step down to race in this event as well.

Elsewhere, Zuzana Hejnova of Czech Republic, who dominated the women’s 400m hurdles at the worlds will take on USA’s silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad and American teammate Georganne Moline, who fell in the early rounds and was unable to progress.

Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, who was disqualified after winning her heat is also in the lineup.

In the field, four-time world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand continues her battle with Germany’s Christina Schwanitz in the women’s Shot Put Jenn Suhr of USA goes up against Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Cuba’s Yarisley Silva in the women’s pole.