Gold Coast Catch Up: Wilson takes gymnastics gold, it’s silver for England in team triathlon
Gymnastics Artistic

Gold Coast Catch Up: Wilson takes gymnastics gold, it’s silver for England in team triathlon

07 April 2018 / 05:52

It was a dramatic men’s all-around final that went right down to the wire – and that is just the way Nile Wilson likes it.

With the pressure on in the Gold Coast – only one fortieth of a point (0.025) separated the top three heading into the final apparatus, the high bar.

And Wilson produced a stunning routine that is becoming his calling card and to secure his second Commonwealth Games gold in two days, after team success on Thursday.

It could have been easier for Wilson – the standout all-around men’s gymnast at these Games.

But he is struggling with a left wrist injury that limits his pommel horse routine – and at the halfway stage he was down in third.

Wilson’s compatriot James Hall and Cyprus’ Marios Georgiou were out in front but by the time the final of the six apparatus arrived – Wilson’s speciality after his bronze in Rio two years ago – the 22-year-old knew what he needed to do.

“It's incredible for it to come down to the wire on the last piece with the three of us in the mix,” he said.  

“I smiled my way through it and hit the bar routine I knew I could, and it's a great feeling to have a Commonwealth gold medal round my neck.

“Obviously my score was a lot down on the pommel horse because I'm not doing the full routine because of my hand, but it was enough. We were steady all the way round and I came alive on the last two rotations.

“It's difficult to not be aware with the big scoreboard and the crowd, but for me it's that feeling when I land that high bar dismount and I roar and the buzz I get I do it for that. 

“That's all I'm thinking about when I'm in that pressurised environment. The experience here has been up there with my best ever.

“I knew what I needed to do towards the end but I take it my in my stride and I smile. When it's my time to stand up on the podium and do my bar routine it's like, come on then guys, watch me, it's my turn, and I love every minute of it.

“Being in that arena soaking up the atmosphere looking for my parents in the crowd, fist-bumping, it's what I'm about and how I get through and love every second of the competition and I'm sure it shows.”

alistairbrownlee

Brownlee will make decision on Olympics 'later this year'

Alistair Brownlee will make a decision on another Olympic triathlon title defence later this year.

Brownlee, still nursing the effects of an untimely calf injury, joined forces with brother Jonny, Vicky Holland and Jess Learmonth as England finished second in the Commonwealth Games team event behind hosts Australia.

It’s been a difficult trip Down Under for the 29-year old, who was looking to defend the individual and team gold medals he won four years ago in Glasgow.

He will compete in a long distance event next week before switching his focus to triathlon’s World Series, with his home race in Leeds the main priority for the season.

But the countdown is now on for deciding his future in the sport.

“The chances are this is my last Commonwealth Games because four years time is a long way away but I’m really not sure about the Olympics yet,” he said.

“I’m going to make a decision at the end of this year. Having a team event like this in Tokyo is a genuine incentive to carry on, it’s a really good shot at a medal and Great Britain are absolutely going to be in the hunt for gold in Tokyo.

“I just have to decide how physically good I can be to try and defend my title again.

“I’ve put a personal timeline on it, I feel the end of this year is the right time to make that call. If you are going to commit to an Olympics, you have to do it 18 months out. It takes so much preparation and focus and lots of emotional and physical energy too.”

Winning is a habit for Brownlee and he admitted he found it tough lining up on the Gold Coast knowing he wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

However, after carrying the flag for England in the opening ceremony, he insists he was right not to withdraw.

“I’m regretting getting injured but I don’t regret competing,” he added.

“Two months ago I was in a brilliant position to come here and defend my title. After struggling with my hip injury last year I was so happy with how everything was going, so I was completely gutted when the injury happened.

“It’s been a very tough month, waking up every day and thinking about my calf. It was hard to be on the start line knowing I probably wasn’t going to win, that was a tough thing to take.

“It’s nice to get a medal to show for everything. Australia were a different class but we worked hard for that silver. We would have been very disappointed if we hadn’t made that podium.”

Elsewhere ... Oliver and Smith score weightlifting silvers

England's weightlifters shone on the third morning in Australia as Olympians Jack Oliver and Zoe Smith both picked up silver medals.

Competing in the 77kg division Oliver lifted a total of 312kg, just 5kg off the gold medal, as he capped a return from both a dislocated elbow, appendectomy and knee operation in the last two years.

Smith is another to have overcome adversity, winning silver in the 63kg category after having her funding cut and having to work full time in the past 18 months, all while continuing to train.

And there have been a couple of all-British battles on the Gold Coast with Wales' Tesni Evans defeating two-time women's singles silver medallist Laura Massaro in the squash.

While world sprint silver medallist Jack Carlin, of Scotland, beat England's Joe Truman in the quarter-finals, with the semi-finals and final to come later in the day.

Over in the boxing there was success for Northern Ireland's Kurt Walker, who fought his way through to the -56kg quarter-finals.

Sportsbeat 2018