Alana Boyd (Qld) has ensured Australia finished Day Seven of the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park in Glasgow (SCO) with a win, taking gold in the women’s pole vault final in emphatic fashion while Hamish Peacock (Tas) snared bronze in the men’s javelin.
The women’s pole vault final started 45 minutes late due to the heavy rain on the final day of competition, but even so the athletes had to deal with atrocious conditions early on. Six of the ten women in the final, including sisters Liz Parnov (WA) and Vicky Parnov (WA), struggled to handle the slippery runway and registered a ‘No Height’.
Boyd looked like she too might fail to record a clearance as she missed her first two attempts at 4.15m. She sailed clear on her third try however but still trailed Sally Peake of Wales on count back. When Peake cleared 4.25m on her first attempt, Boyd passed and the bar was raised to 4.35m. Peake missed her first attempt and then Boyd soared into the lead with a beautiful first-up clearance.
The Welshwoman then passed herself and the bar moved up to 4.40m but, while Boyd easily cleared the new height, Peake could not and the Australian clinched the gold. As if to underline her victory, Boyd subsequently cleared 4.50m on her first attempt before closing out the competition with three tries at 4.63m.
Boyd said the interruption due to the rain made it difficult to warm-up and she was relieved to clear 4.15m and get back on track.
“We got out there to warm-up and I knew that the rain was going to be up and down so I got myself a few good jumps off a short run-up,” Boyd said. “Then it rained and we battled and they took us inside for half an hour and then they took us out again. I was planning on opening at 4.25m because of the weather, a little lower than normal, but then when there were girls not clearing heights at 3.80m and it was treacherous conditions, I felt I was confident to jump high enough to win it on a 12-step approach.
“So I went back down to my 12-step approach and came in at 4.15m. Didn’t make easy work of that. I pushed too hard. I thought my run might have been incorrect but I think I pushed too hard on my first jump and was way too close. Second one I was too close and, oh my gosh, I’ve never been happier to clear 4.15m in my whole life!”
In the men’s Javelin Throw Final Hamish Peacock (Tas) surprised by winning a bronze medal with his second round throw of 81.75m. Peacock, whose brother Huw also competed in Glasgow in the men’s hammer throw, opened with a hurl of 79.34m before unleashing his bronze-winning effort. He threw 77.24m in the third round but his second throw guaranteed a top eight finish and three more attempts. Peacock fouled his fourth attempt before throwing 75.87m and 80.24m.
Whilst the Tasmanian couldn’t improve on his second round throw, it didn’t matter and he took bronze behind winner Julius Yego of Kenya (83.87m) and runner-up Keeshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago (82.67m).
The other two Australians in the men’s javelin final, Joshua Robinson (Qld) and Luke Cann (Vic) finished in fourth and seventh place respectively. Robinson had a best throw of 79.95m and Cann recorded a longest attempt of 75.93m.
In the women’s 5000m Final, Eloise Wellings (NSW) was with the leading pack until 400m to go and finished in fifth in a season’s best time of 15:14.99 behind gold medallist Mercy Cherono of Kenya, who won in 15:07.21. Emily Brichacek (ACT) came seventh in 15:39.96.
Jeff Riseley (Vic) ran well in the men’s 1500m Final, finishing in fifth place in the time of 3:40.27 behind gold medallist James Magut of Kenya in 3:39.31. The effort was particularly impressive given Riseley had run both heats and finals in the men’s 800m earlier in the Games.
The Australian women’s 4x400m Relay team of Anneliese Rubie (NSW), Caitlin Sargent (Qld), Lauren Wells (ACT) and Morgan Mitchell (Vic) ran bravely in the Final in driving rain, finishing fourth in the time of 3:30.27.
The Australian men’s 4x400m Relay team of Craig Burns (Qld), Alex Beck (Qld), Jarrod Geddes (NSW) and John Steffensen (NSW) finished in sixth place in a time of 3:04.19 in what Steffensen had previously confirmed was his final run as an international representative for Australia.
The Australian team in the women’s 4x100m Relay Final of Melissa Breen (ACT), Ashleigh Whittaker (Vic), Ella Nelson (NSW) and Margaret Gayen (SA) came in fourth in the time of 44.25.
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.
Stay connected with the Australian athletics team by interacting with the Commonwealth Games Event Hub on athletics.com.au, or by joining the conversation on Twitter by following @AthsAust and using the hashtag #Glasgow2014.
For more information on the Commonwealth Games, including the competition schedule, please click here to visit the Glasgow 2014 website.