Gold Coast Catch Up: Evans lifts his way to gold for Wales, Peaty opens his campaign
Swimming

Gold Coast Catch Up: Evans lifts his way to gold for Wales, Peaty opens his campaign

06 April 2018 / 07:15

Adam Peaty is so dominant in breaststroke that anything less than a world record feels disappointing but the swimming superstar has warned his rivals he has a lot more to give following a comfortable heat performance in his first race at the Commonwealth Games.

Cruising to a time of 59.14s in the 100m breaststroke, Peaty finished eight tenths clear of teammate James Wilby, victorious over 200m the previous night.

That effort was a full two seconds off his own world record, and while Peaty was a little underwhelmed by the time, he was still confident he could continue to push the boundaries in the evening’s semi-final.

He said: “I didn’t really need to go out too hard but I can’t really get a calibration of where I’m at until tonight.

“It’s slower than expected for what it felt like but that’s sport. You never know what you’re going to get. But a true margin of what I’m capable of will come tonight and hopefully tomorrow night.”

While Peaty will look to lay down a marker in the semi-finals, the highlight of the evening should be the men’s 200m freestyle final with Scotland’s Duncan Scott the fastest qualifier.

The 20-year-old, who is a double world champion in the 4x200m freestyle relay, came home in a time of 1:46.62, four tenths quicker than England’s James Guy in second.

The star-studded field for the final also features Thursday’s 400m champion Mack Horton, Olympic 100m gold-medallist Kyle Chalmers and South African great Chad le Clos.

Scott said: “I just wanted to try and win the heat and get through to the final. It’s job done. It’s a quality field, it doesn’t really matter what people post.

“We’ve all got the same mentality, when it gets to that final, everyone has got a shot.”

Evans lifts his way to Wales' first gold

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London 2012 Olympian Gareth Evans was the nearly-man of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - but not anymore.

The Welshman came fifth four years ago but became his country's first gold medallist  on the Gold Coast, victorious in the men's -69kg weightlifting competition.

The 31-year-old posted a total of 299kg, eight years after his Commonwealth debut, with Sri Lanka's Indika Dissanayake Mudiyanselage taking silver, while Deepak Lather of India claimed bronze.

"It was hard not to get a bit teary, if I'm being completely honest. Like every Welshman, I'm ridiculously proud," said Evans.

"To stand up there with the gold medal is special. I dread to think what's going on at my mum and dad's house at the moment.

"I missed out on a medal in Glasgow and vowed I would never miss a medal again. I have let that spur me on for the past four years."

Family affair for the Archibalds

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Katie Archibald could not have asked for a better start to her Commonwealth adventure after blitzing to a Games record in the individual pursuit.

Four years ago points race bronze came the Scot’s way on the home Glasgow boards but it was the Australian crowd she was wowing this time, qualifying for the gold-medal final in a time of 3:24.119.

But the family affair wasn’t done there as Archibald’s brother, John, also set a Games record in his own individual pursuit qualification in his bid for the medals, which was then shortly broken by England's Charlie Tanfield, with the pair riding off against each other in tonight's gold medal clash.

Meanwhile Lauren Bate reached the sprint quarter-finals – ousting England teammate and Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant in the process.

Stylish start for England men

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George Pinner had the best seat in the house to watch his England side kick off their Commonwealth campaign in style – the goalkeeper barely having to lift a finger in the 7-0 romp past Malaysia.

Sam Ward and Mark Gleghorne both bagged doubles while Harry Martin grabbed the fifth after a fine team move in a victory that kicked off their Pool B campaign in fine fashion.

And co-captain Pinner – one of the remaining players from the squad that claimed bronze in Glasgow four years ago – could find little to criticise in his side’s showing.

“That was the perfect start for us really, and we played some really good hockey,” he said. 

“The cleansheet is really important for us as a side I think. And the goals we scored were really good – that Harry Martin one at the end was a fantastic team goal.

“We did a lot of good work both on and off the ball.”

Later today, England women take on Wales in Pool A while Scotland women play Canada in Pool B.

Life's a beach for Scotland's volleyball players

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Scotland wasted little time in making themselves at home on Coolangatta Beach, with both the men and women’s teams winning their opening matches.

Robin Miedzybrodzki and Seain Cook were up first in the Pool B of the men’s competitions, overcoming Sri Lanka’s Asanka Pradeep and Sashimal Yapa 21-15 18-21 16-14 in just under an hour.

It took compatriots Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts even less time as they defeated Grenada’s Thornia Williams and Renisha Stafford 21-8 21-11 inside half an hour.

Beattie said: “We stuck to our game plan. We wanted to put them under pressure with our serve and we also wanted to enjoy the moment. You can prepare anything you like, but nothing compares to coming out in front of such a great crowd, and we had great Scottish support that made it even better.”

England’s Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf also won their men’s match against Mozambique 21-13 21-14 with Victoria Palmer and Jessica Grimson going later today.

Home nations shuttlers on the march

Two matches played, two wins on the board for England's badminton stars in the mixed team group stage – and a quarter-final spot bagged in the process.

Silver medallists four years ago, England followed up their opening 5-0 win over Uganda with another against South Africa on Friday.

Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh kicked things off in the mixed doubles before Rajiv Ouseph and Chloe Birch won their respective singles matches with Chris Adcock and Lane and Sarah Walker and Lauren Smith winning the final two doubles rubbers.

“Ben is playing more mixed doubles than I am so he will teach me a thing or two I think! It’s a great opportunity for us to play together for Team England here,” said Adcock, ahead of their final pool game against Australia later today.

“We had a good start, and it’s a tough one for us this afternoon against Australia – it’s a tough draw, but we’re happy to be there. 

“We’ve played a bit together now so we’re getting used to it (the left/left hand combination) and hopefully we’ll have another opportunity together, but if not we have the individual to look forward to!”

Scotland, already through to the quarter-finals, lost their final Group A game against India.

Elsewhere on the Gold Coast

So far so good for Galal Yafai as the Birmingham light flyweight cruised into the Commonwealth quarter-finals on Friday on the Gold Coast.

The 25-year-old opened his campaign for gold by making light work of Cameroon’s Simplice Fotsala,  all five judges giving the Englishman a 3-0 decision.

Northern Ireland’s Steven Donnelly overcame Welshman Kyran Jones in the the men’s 75kg round of 32, Scotland’s Scott Forrest beat Elly Ochola in the men’s 91kg while Wales’ Rosie Eccles beat Cameroon’s Aubiege Azangue in the women’s 69kg round of 16.

England’s Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry plus Wales’ Tesni Evans all reached the last eight of the women’s squash singles with Nick Matthew doing likewise in the men’s competition.

Elsewhere Wales women lost their Pool B netball clash against New Zealand 70-44 although there was better news for their table tennis teammates who picked up a group 2 win over Sri Lanka. Northern Ireland and Scotland men also picked up table tennis wins against Trinidad and Tobago and Kiribati respectively.

Sportsbeat 2018