Semenya rules on the track; Australians rule in the pool
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Caster Semenya didn’t let a light drizzle and technical malfunction prevent her from setting the Commonwealth Games record in the 1,500 meters.
The two-time Olympic 800-meter champion crossed in 4 minutes, 0.71 seconds, taking more than four seconds off the old mark.
That came after a 12-minute delay at the start because of a technical fault, and a slower-than-usual first two laps from Semenya.
She started her surge with 250 meters to go and rounded the leaders with 200 remaining, extending her lead in the home stretch and then flexing her biceps in a bodybuilding pose after crossing the line.
Next up could be gold in her specialty, the 800, as well.
“It’s difficult to balance speed with endurance, but with 10 years of experience for me now I’m ready for anything,” Semenya said of her prospects of winning over both distances.
“I’m more confident that I know how to run in fast races and slow races, to muster the kicks and make sure I’m in the right shape, because I can’t always run in front.”
In other news from the games:
FINAL NIGHT AT THE POOL
There was yet more gold for Australia along with personal milestones for South African Chad le Clos and Canadian teenager Taylor Ruck.
Australia added six more gold medals Tuesday to finish with 73 medals — 28 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze — in swimming events.
Ahead of the last night of competition, le Clos won gold in all three butterfly distances — the 50, 100 and 200, and had a silver in the 100 freestyle. Those four medals had increased his career Commonwealth Games total to 16, a record for a swimmer, and two fewer than the record 18 overall held by two shooters.
Le Clos made it 17 when South Africa won bronze in the medley relay.
The 17-year-old Ruck finished with eight medals at these Games, breaking a 52-year-old Canadian women’s record. Canadian Elaine Tanner won seven medals (four gold and three silver) at the 1966 edition in Kingston, Jamaica.
Ruck had one gold, five silver and two bronze medals on the Gold Coast, picking up her eighth medal when Canada finished second in the medley relay.
INDIA INTO FIELD HOCKEY SEMIS
Harmanpreet Singh scored twice to help India beat Malaysia 2-1 to secure a spot in the men’s field hockey semifinals, where they’ll likely face either Australia or New Zealand.
Following a draw with Pakistan and wins over Wales and Malaysia, eight-time Olympic champion India will play England to finish of play in Group B ahead of the finals.
79-YEAR-OLD FINISHES 8TH
Robert Pitcairn, the 79-year-old Canadian and oldest-ever athlete to at the Commonwealth Games, finished eighth in the Queen’s Prize Pairs shooting event with partner Nicole Rossignol.
England’s Parang Patel and David Luckman won gold, with Welsh pair Chris Watson and Gareth Morris taking silver and Scotland’s Alexander Walker and Ian Shaw took bronze.
British shooters also filled the podium in the men’s 50-meter rifle prone — David Phelps of Wales took gold, Neil Stirton of Scotland won the silver and Kenneth Parr of England took the bronze. It was Phelps’ second gold of the games, and on his 41st birthday.
India won the other shooting gold, with Heena Sidhu taking the women’s 25-meter pistol.
England diver Tom Daley has withdrawn from the 10-meter platform because of a recurring hip injury. British Swimming issued a statement saying the technical dives required in the platform event “put enormous physical strain on Tom’s body,” but that Daley would still compete in the men’s synchronized platform with England teammate Daniel Goodfellow.
Daley, a former world champion in the platform and bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, said he was “devastated” to have to withdraw from the individual competition.
“I have been training so hard ... the hardest thing for any athlete is coping with an injury, especially when it means they can’t compete in what they have been working towards,” Daley said.
The games’ diving competition begins Wednesday. Daley and Goodfellow are scheduled to compete Friday.
BOXER FINED FOR FIGHTING
Sean McComb, a 25-year-old boxer from Northern Ireland, was fined 756 Australian dollars ($580) and banned from the Gold Coast night club district after an altercation with security overnight. Local media reported that McComb had been drinking with friends when he was removed from the nightclub, and police were called when McComb tried to re-enter the club. Police said McComb was arrested and issued with an infringement notice for public nuisance and violence.
McComb’s night out came after he was beaten by England’s Luke McCormack in the 64-kilogram division on Sunday.