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Australia’s Michael Shelley, Kenya’s Erick Ndiema, Kenya’s John Ekiru Kelai lead the pack in the men’s marathon athletics event at the Glasgow City Marathon Course during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Kenyans run to double gold Australia finish top in track; Magnussen shines at 100m freestyle

GLASGOW, July 27, (AFP): Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku took a flamboyant 5000m gold while compatriot Flomena Daniel claimed the women’s marathon title as Commonwealth Games athletics got under way Sunday without headliners Usain Bolt and Mo Farah. Ndiku, the world indoor 3000m champion, made the most of the absence of injury-hit Olympic champion Farah to win the first gold medal on offer at the Hampden Park track. With his hair dyed gold in expectation of victory, Ndiku triumphed in 13min 12.07sec over the 5km race with teammate Isiah Koech claiming silver in 13:14.06, with New Zealander Zane Robertson claiming bronze (13:16.52).

In the women’s marathon, Daniel, the winner in Paris this year, led teammate Caroline Kilel to a convincing Kenyan one-two with Jess Trengrove grabbing an unexpected bronze for Australia. Australian Michael Shelley prevented a Kenyan marathon sweep by producing a stunning final 8km to win gold with Kenya’s Stephen Chemlany in second and Uganda’s Abraham Kiplimo taking bronze. The first two shooting golds of the day both went to England.

Charlotte Kerwood took the women’s double trap ahead of Shreyasi Singh of India and Rachel Parish of England, while Steven Scott was first in the men’s double trap in front of countryman Matthew French and Asab Mohd of India. Meanwhile, Australia finished top of the medal table in Commonwealth Games track cycling as they claimed another two golds on the final day of competition at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Sunday. Stephanie Morton took home the gold for Australia in the women’s sprint after seeing off compatriot and reigning champion Anna Meares in the best of three final.
 
Matthew Glaetzer then claimed gold in the men’s keirin to seal a successful track campaign for Australia who won 20 of the medals on offer including seven golds. Sam Webster took silver for New Zealand while Malaysia’s Azizul Awang won the bronze. It was a good day for England as well with Laura Trott winning the 25km points race and Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott taking gold in the women’s para-sport 1000m tandem time trial.
New Zealand, who were without a gold for 12 years on the track, finished with a fourth win as Shane Archbold claimed the 20km scratch race.
Jess Varnish won bronze with a controversial two heat win over Malaysia’s Fatehah Mustapa.
Mustapa looked to have won the first heat but was later relegated after track officials adjudged her not to have held her line going into the final sprint. Varnish then won the second heat by a comfortable margin to claim third place.
 
Trott reclaimed the women’s 25km points race for England following a closely contested race.
Australia had claimed the four previous versions of the event but Trott held on to become the first English winner since Yvonne McGregor at Victoria in 1994.
The Olympic gold medallist and Elinor Barker had traded top spot throughout the race and it was the Welsh rider who had a one-point advantage going into the final sprint.
It meant Trott and Barker finished on the same number of points with her superior position in the final sprint handing a first Commonwealth gold to the English rider.
New Zealand won their fourth gold at the track when Archbold won the men’s 20km scratch race ahead of Australia’s Glenn O’Shea.
 
Archbold’s Kiwi team-mate Thomas Scully provided Archbold with a great lead-out train and Archbold used his fresher legs to hold off the challenge of O’Shea in the endurance race.
Remi Pelletier claimed the bronze medal for Canada ahead of the Isle of Man’s Mark Christian. Northern Ireland’s Martyn Irvine, a silver medallist in the world championships in Colombia earlier this year, was unable to keep up with the leading pack.
Thornhill and pilot Scott claimed their second gold of the Games as they added the women’s para-sport 1000m tandem time trial to go with the sprint title they claimed on Thursday.
In a repeat of Thursday’s sprint final Aileen McGlynn of Scotland and pilot Louise Haston claimed silver while Australia’s Brandie O’Connor and Breanna Hargrave collected the bronze.
 
In swimming competitions, World 100m freestyle champion James Magnussen added the Commonwealth Games title to his collection by edging out fellow Australian Cameron McEvoy in a time of 48:11sec.
McEvoy had surprisingly beaten Magnussen at the Australian trials in April, but made amends despite having to come from behind after a sluggish first 50 metres.
Tommaso D’Orsogna claimed bronze to make it an all-Australian podium.
Belinda Hocking got Australia off to another flying start in the opening race of Sunday’s evening session at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow by taking gold in the women’s 200m backstroke.
100m backstroke champion Emily Seebohm made it an Australian one-two by taking silver with Canada’s Hilary Caldwell in third. In related development, Nigeria’s Olauwatoyin Adesanmi won the Commonwealth Games women’s 63kg weightlifting gold medal on Sunday. The African championship silver medallist pushed Commonwealth number one and compatriot Obioma Okoli into the silver position. “I respect her so much, but she was carrying an injury,” said Adesanmi who had finished on a total of 207kg at the Clyde Auditorium, the same as Okoli.
 
Okoli had needed to lift 123kg in the final clean and jerk — 6kg more than her previous successful attempt — to overtake Adesanmi but failure to do so left her with silver, as she weighed 0.99kg more than her 22-year-old teammate. India’s Punam Yadav, the youngest lifter at 19, took bronze with 202kg but admitted it had been a struggle to even make it to Glasgow. “My father has a small farm and we were very short of money for competing at the Games. My uncle has funded my whole Commonwealth Games trip and both of my sisters are weightlifters,” said the teenager.

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