Gold Coast Day Three Review: Peaty defends title, Barker gets tactics right

Adam Peaty makes it four years unbeaten over the 100m breaststroke while Elinor Barker takes top honours as home nations riders lock out the podium in the women’s points race – it’s another busy day at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

On the night Adam Peaty made it four years unbeaten over 100m breaststroke the world’s most dominant swimmer also showed he is human and is struggling with motivation.

Peaty was a way off his best on his way to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, retaining the title he claimed in Glasgow four years ago.

His time of 58.84 was enough to beat compatriot James Wilby by 0.59 seconds but having turned just outside world record pace, he cramped up in the final metres and was more than a second and a half off his best.

The 23-year-old, who will return for the 50m breaststroke heats on Sunday, said: “I was out on world record pace at 50, but it's April. I went out there to get to that 50 as fast as I could and hold on.

“Even though it's a gold medal and it's four years undefeated and that's completed the circle, I'm not happy with that performance.

“It's not the best version of me. I want to go out there on the 50 and try to get that better version.

“That's the first time ever where I've felt not in control of my race. I think I let the event get to me too much and I was thinking about the end result instead of the process.”

There were further medals in the pool for Britain’s Olympians with Scotland’s Duncan Scott adding to his Gold Coast haul with bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly and England’s Molly Renshaw touching ahead of Wales’ Chloe Tutton for silver in the women’s 200m breaststroke.

England also came out top for the home nations in the final race of the night, the quartet of Eleanor Faulkner, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Freya Anderson and Holly Hibbott winning bronze behind Australia and Canada in the women’s 4x200m freestyle.

Wales long wait for a Commonwealth Games track cycling champion is over as Elinor Barker picked up a superb bronze in the women’s points race.

Louise Jones won the women's match sprint back at Auckland 1990 - her daughter Hayley is in the Team Wales cycling squad on the Gold Coast – and the Welsh flag was flying high at a velodrome once again on Saturday.

The 25km points race was Barker’s first outing of this Games but there were no signs of rustiness as she picked up a vital lap with the race still in its relative early stages.

She then finished the race in style, claiming the final sprint to hit the 40-point mark, comfortably clear of Scotland’s Katie Archibald and Neah Evans in second and third.

“It’s really special. I’ve never been able to sing the Welsh national anthem on the podium before. You don’t get many opportunities to do it so I’m so, so grateful,” she said.

“I’d been getting a little twitchy sat in the hotel watching everyone racing, watching everyone getting records. It really spurred me on.

“I was questioning my decision to sit out of the other races but this is what I consider to be one of my best events so I thought, ‘why go and hope to do reasonably well in an event I’m not so good at when I can try and win my best event? Gladly it paid off.”

Elsewhere there was sprint silver for Scotland’s Jack Carlin and bronze for England’s Chris Latham after a frantic finish to the men’s scratch race.

With two medals from her first two events on the Gold Coast, Alice Kinsella is entitled to be very pleased with how her maiden Commonwealth Games is panning out.

But it is a mark of just how far both she and English gymnastics in general have come that the 17-year-old could not hide a bit of disappointment on Saturday night after claiming bronze in the all-around final.

Sitting in fourth at the halfway stage, the youngster produced impressive beam and floor routines to move into the medal positions as Canada’s Ellie Black and home favourite Georgia Godwin took gold and silver respectively.

And while nerves nearly got the better of Kinsella, the youngster held it together to claim a bronze to go with her team silver from Friday.

“I have never felt so nervous in all my life because it was quite tight. But I just went out there to do the exact same floor routine that I do in training and see what came out of it,” she said.

“I could have done a lot better today, the beam wasn’t quite what I wanted with the landing so I could have improved on that.

“But I am still so proud of what I have done here.

“I have worked so hard for this, this was one of my goals coming here, to get an all-around medal and that is what I have done so I am happy.”

That was the third medal of the day for England’s gymnasts after Nile Wilson took men’s gold ahead of James Hall. Click here to read more.

The day started in medal-laden fashion with weightlifting silvers for both Zoe Smith and Jack Oliver as well as team silver for England’s triathlon team of Vicky Holland, Jessica Learmonth and Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Click here to read more

Wales flexed their squash muscles as Tesni Evans defeated England’s Laura Massaro in the last eight of the women’s singles while Joel Makin defeated Alan Clyne in the all-British clash. England’s Nick Matthew was also another big name to fall, this time at the hands of Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan.

It was a good day for England’s table tennis teams who both sealed their place in the semi-finals as did the England badminton team – Chloe Birch starring by defeating Commonwealth women’s singles champion Michelle Li as England beat Canada.

England’s basketballers stormed past India 100-54 in their preliminary pool B clash, while there was also success for Scotland as they edged past Cameroon 63-52. Scotland’s beach volleyball sides enjoyed mixed results, with Robin Miedzybrodzki and Seain Cook triumphing 2-1 over Sierra Leone, but Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts came up short against Cyprus. England’s Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf defeated their Cypriot opponents to make it two wins from two in Pool C. There were victories for England’s Pat McCormack, Peter McGrail and Paige Murney in the boxing, while Scotland’s Vikki Glover and Stephen Newns and Northern Ireland’s Aidan Walsh and Kurt Walker also progressed. Scotland and Wales’ men’s hockey teams were beaten by Canada and Malaysia, while Scotland’s women beat Wales and Northern Ireland were edged out by South Africa in the netball. In the lawn bowls, Scotland and Wales men’s pairs team are through to the semi-finals after beating Malaysia and New Zealand respectively, while Wales’ Laura Daniels came through her singles’ quarter-final against Carmen Anderson of Norfolk Island. Scotland’s men are also through in the triples after a 15-13 success over Wales.

Sportsbeat 2018