Gold Coast Catch Up: Hammer time for Miller as McClenaghan shines

Gold Coast Catch Up: Hammer time for Miller as McClenaghan shines

08 April 2018 / 07:55

The hammer throw has long been a Commonwealth Games strength for England – but Nick Miller’s record-breaking heroics on Sunday have taken him into rarefied air.

The 24-year-old claimed the first athletics gold medal in the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast with an enormous throw of 80.26m.

That throw would have won gold at last year’s World Championships and the last Olympics and also extends his own British record.

England have now won 11 hammer medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games – more than any other discipline in any other sport.

And after upgrading his silver from four years ago in Glasgow, Miller – who only managed 63.60m with his first throw and fouled his second – insists there could be still more to come this year.  

“It feels incredible,” he said. “I was hoping I would be able to break 80m, that was kind of the goal but after the first round I thought ‘Oh man!’

“But I pulled it together and everything ended up perfect.

“I am incredibly proud to have upgraded my silver from four years ago and set the tone – i just hope everyone else can follow suit and do as well as they can.

“Hopefully there is more to come, I don’t want to jinx myself but obviously the goal is always to improve later on in the year.

Scotland’s Mark Dry also made the podium with a season’s best of 73.12m giving him bronze while Miller’s teammate Taylor Campbell had to settle for fifth.  


Bosworth all smiles after race walk silver

Tom Bosworth found his road to redemption on a sun-drenched beachfront in trendy Currumbin.

Bosworth admitted he briefly contemplated his future in athletics after a dramatic disqualification at last year’s World Championships in London.

But the 28-year old race walker was all smiles after his 20km silver at the Commonwealth Games, following a memorable stride for stride battle with Australian Olympic bronze medallist and close friend Dane Bird-Smith.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself and this race was about redemption,” admitted England’s track and field co-captain Bosworth.

“A medal means everything, it defines your career. People never judge you on records, they judge you on what you win. I know now that I can perform at these big events.

“After London I didn’t want to train, I didn’t even want to be an athlete. I thought people would only remember me for that but this has, perhaps, has given them something else to remember me.”

In the women’s race, Wales' Bethan Davies took a well-earned bronze, behind Australia’s Jemima Montag and New Zealand’s Alana Barber while teammate Heather Lewis was seventh, two places behind fifth-placed Gemma Bridge of England.

McClenaghan shocks Olympic champion Whitlock


He may be just 18 years old but Rhys McClenaghan will be a household name now after edging out Olympic champion Max Whitlock to take pommel gold for Northern Ireland.

McClenaghan showed no sign of nerves as he secured his country’s first medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Northern Ireland’s maiden Commonwealth gymnastics podium finish.

The Northern Irishman scored 15.100 – the same total as Whitlock– but took the title due to a better execution score.

"Max has been my idol growing up and I've been watching him since 2010 when he was competing in the Delhi Commonwealths," he said.

"I've always felt though that one day I could be up there with the best and beating them."

Silver meant Whitlock did not finish the day empty handed after mistakes in the floor final saw him place sixth. There was a home nations podium finisher though with Daniel Purvis picking up bronze ahead of Scottish teammate Hamish Carter in fourth.

And the success continued in the last two finals of the day as Courtney Tulloch led an English one-two on the rings ahead of Nile Wilson while fellow English gymnast Georgia-Mae Fenton took uneven bars gold.

Davies matches partner Jack’s achievement


Weightlifter Sarah Davies was out to prove a point on Sunday – anything partner Jack Oliver could do, she could as well.

A day earlier it had been Oliver standing on the podium to take silver in the men’s 77kg and 24 hours later Davies did the same in the women’s 69kg.

Gold went to India’s Punam Yadav with a total of 222kg while Fiji’s Apolonia Vaivai took bronze.

"He would have been quite upset if I'd got that gold medal. I couldn't have him beating me, so we had to at least match,” said Davies after lifting a total of 217kg.

Silver for sharp shooter Hill


England's Amber Hill added Commonwealth Games silver to her European Games gold from 2015.

Hill competed in Glasgow four years ago but failed to make the final. There was to be no repeat this time around though with only Cypriot Andri Eleftheriou putting in a better performance.

The 20-year-old hit 49 successful targets from 60 with her opponent finishing on 52.

Golden Scotland at the lawn bowls

Darren Burnett struggled to hide his emotions as Scotland claimed the men’s triples gold at Broadbeach Bowls Club.

Burnett was joined by teammates Ronald Duncan and Derek Oliver in beating hosts Australia 19-14.

"It's so emotional. We spent two years building up to this. It's not about the last two-and-a-half hours, it's about two years' worth of sacrifice and a lot of family sacrifice,” he said.

"We are delighted to get the gold medal, we knew we were a quality triple but there are so many quality triples out there.

"There is not a prouder moment than standing on the podium. It is an opportunity that only comes every four years."

Elsewhere on the Gold Coast

There were pool wins for England’s women and men’s basketball players – over Mozambique and Cameroon respectively while England’s Jess Grimson and Victoria Palmer moved into the quarter-finals of the beach volleyball competition.

There was disappointment for England women as they lost their Pool A hockey clash with India 2-1 while the men were held 2-2 by Pakistan.

England women will bid for team table tennis bronze after losing out to India in their earlier semi-final while James Willstrop and Sarah-Jane Perry booked their place in the men’s and women’s squash finals respectively.

Sportsbeat 2018