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Fergus Kavanagh of Australia (left), vies with James Kyriakides of Wales (right), during the men’s preliminary field hockey match between Australia and Wales at Glasgow National Hockey Center during the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Australia hit 200 cycling medals Bezzoubenko crowned Games queen

GLASGOW, July 26, (AFP): Australia became the first country to win 200 Commonwealth Games cycling medals on Saturday as Olympic and world sprint king Usain Bolt arrived to a predictable media scrum.

Australia’s Annette Edmondson won the women’s 10km scratch race gold before Kieran Modra and Jason Niblett grabbed silver in the men’s sprint tandem and compatriots Paul Kennedy and Thomas Clarke captured bronze to take their country to the 200-medal mark. Edmondson’s gold came just a day after brother Alex had won the 4,000m individual pursuit. “Finally I’ve matched Alex. I’ve never come home with the gold, it’s always been silver or bronze, so it really means a lot to me,” said Annette Edmondson. The action on the third day of the Games was overshadowed in the afternoon by the arrival of Jamaican sprint superstar Bolt who will race in the 4x100m relay heats in what will be his first outing of an injury-hit season.
“Yes I’m here to run. I’ll be running, definitely,” said Bolt.
“I finally get the chance to compete in one (Commonwealth Games) so I’m very happy to be here.”
Bolt, world record holder in both the 100 and 200m as well as double Olympic and world champion, said he had not felt under pressure from sponsors to make an appearance in Scotland, and said he would run in the heats of the relay.
Should he not, and his teammates drop the baton, the Jamaican would face the prospect of not even making an appearance on the track at Hampden Park.
“I’ll be running the heats,” Bolt stressed. “I think I need to run because it’s the first race of the season so I really need to get it going.”
Canada’s Patricia Bezzoubenko was crowned queen of the Commonwealth Games, completing a five gold medal haul in rhythmic gymnastics.
Bezzoubenko had already won two golds in the team and all-around events and she added three more on Saturday in the clubs, ball and hoop individual disciplines.
The one gold that escaped her grasp was in the ribbon which went to Francesca Jones giving Wales their first gold medal of the Games.
“I was expecting a good performance but that’s it, no medals, I didn’t think about it. It just worked. It is amazing it is my first Commonwealth Games. I am so proud of my country,” said 27-year-old Bezzoubenko who trains in Russia.
Australian shooter Daniel Repacholi won the men’s 10m air pistol but the toast of the town in that event was third-placed Mick Gault of England who at 60 won a record-equalling 18th Commonwealth Games medal.
“Job done, finished, don’t care anymore. I got the record and I can just relax now,” said Gault.
England swept the triathlon gold medals with victory in the team relay while four-time rugby sevens champion New Zealand crushed Canada 39-0 and then edged Scotland 17-14 to get their title defence under way.
In netball, the two title favourites, Australia and England, played out a group stage thriller which the Australians edged 49-48.
In weightlifting, England’s Zoe Smith beat Nigeria’s Ndidi Winifred and Welsh veteran Michaela Breeze to claim gold in the women’s 58kg.
South Africa’s Olympic champion Chad le Clos retained his 200m butterfly Commonwealth title on Saturday in a Games record of 1min 55:07sec. Grant Irvine took silver for Australia, while South Africa also claimed bronze thanks to Sebastien Rousseau.
However, there was disappointment for Scotland’s Cameron Broadie as he missed out on a medal in fourth.
England’s Fran Halsall claimed her second Commonwealth Games gold medal as she edged out Australian sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell in the women’s 50m freestyle on Saturday.
Halsall broke her own Commonwealth Games record time from Friday’s semi-finals to edge out Cate Campbell by four hundredths of a second in 23:96sec with Bronte Campbell back in third.
Australia’s Daniel Fox took gold in the para-sport 200m freestyle S14 at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Fox had broken the world record in qualifying earlier in the day and, despite not matching that time, came home nearly three seconds ahead of England’s Thomas Hamer in 1min 57:89sec.
Jack Thomas claimed Wales’ second swimming medal of the meet with bronze. South Africa’s Olympic champion Chad le Clos survived a freak accident to retain his Commonwealth Game 200m butterfly title on Saturday in a Games record of 1min 55:07sec.
Grant Irvine took silver for Australia, while South Africa also claimed bronze thanks to Sebastien Rousseau.
Le Clos appeared to ease through the first 150 metres before turning on the afterburners and speeding past the rest of the field in the final 50 metres.
“It all went to plan. I said to (coach) Graham (Hill) it would probably take a 1min 55sec to win, but it wasn’t about time it was about finishing first.
“I was just trying to take it comfortable until the 150 mark. I knew I could hit it hard on the las turn as I normally do.”
The biggest scare for Le Clos had come out of the pool as he revealed he twisted his ankle when he slipped coming off his bus back to the athletes’ village on Friday night, which put his participation in the rest of the Games at risk.
“Last night I slipped off the best, so I was a bit worried, my ankle was a bit swollen.
“It wasn’t too bad, so I just iced it. This morning it was quite bad in the heats so I was a bit worried, but we had 10 hours to strap it up and needle it a little bit so thanks to the physios.”
Le Clos remains on course for seven medals at the meet after taking bronze in the 50m butterfly and silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay on Friday.
And he is now targetting gold in the 200m individual medley on Tuesday.
“I didn’t have such great preparation coming into this and so far I’ve still done two personal bests in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle which were both really good times for me.
“I have the 200IM when I’ll be up against Thomas Fraser-Holmes who won the 100m free, so I don’t want to say I can win but I might.” (AFP)

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