CWG athletics: Harminer springs a surprise, bags bronze (Roundup)

By Sirshendu Panth, IANS
Saturday, October 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - India’s Harminder Singh sprang a pleasant surprise bagging a bronze in the 20-km walk as four Games records tumbled with Kenya and Australia sharing two gold medals each in track and field events at the Commonwealth Games athletics here Saturday.

The 26-year-old from Punjab clocked 1:23:27 seconds to finish behind Australians Jared Tallent and Luke Adams, who clinched the gold and silver medal respectively. Tallent set up a new Games record of 1:22:18 while Adams finished in 1:22:31.

Tallent, a Beijing Olympics gold medallist, was trailing Adams till the last two km. However, an unlucky Adams tripped on the road and conceded the first place to Tallent.

For the third time in three editions of the Games, Adams took the silver medal.

In the women’s section, also covering 20 km, India’s Rani Yadav finished sixth, clocking 1:42:54 while Sandhya Jolly came eighth (1:51:44).

England’s Jo Jackson took the gold clocking 1:34:22 and Australian Claire Tallent (1:36:55), wife of Jared, got the silver. Kenya’s Wanjiru Grace (1:37:49) grabbed the bronze.

“My goal was to get on the podium. I just wanted to do my best. This is really special,” said Claire. “When he went past, he gave me a ‘come on’ and that was really good,” Claire said about her husband Jared.

“I am very, very happy with the win. I was the Gold medal favourite, so I did my job. I was never a medal favourite before, so the pressure was on me to win the Gold,” said Jackson.

In women’s shotput, world and olympics champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand threw the metallic ball to a distance of 20.47 metres to successfully defend the gold she won in the Melbourne Games four years ago. In the process, the famed New Zealander improved upon her own Games record set up in Melbourne.

Cleopatra Brown of Trinidad & Tobago took the silver by hurlng the ball to a distance of 19.03 metres, while Margaret Iva Tasele Satupai of Samoa took the bronze with a throw of 16.43 metres.

In women’s Javelin, South African Stella Sunette Viljoen took the gold with a throw of 62.34 metres, that also broke the existing Games Record. The silver went to Australian Kim Mickle, who threw 60.90 metres.

South Africa got a second medal in the event as Justine Gail Robbeson earned the bronze by sending the spear to a distance of 60.03 metres.

The women’s 3,000m steeple chase saw a Kenyan sweep. Chemos Milcah Cheywa took the gold in 9:40.96 seconds, Wanjiru Mercy Njoroge got the silver in 9:41.54 seconds, while Jerotich Gladys Kipkemoi earned the bronze in 9:52.51 seconds.

In heptathlon, a test of endurance and skill, England girl Louise Victoria Hazel got the gold collecting 6156 points. The silver went to Jessica Zelinka of Canada with 6100 points, while another English girl Grace Clements was awarded the bronze for 5819 points.

India’s Pramila Guddanda (5330) finished fifth, immediately followed by Susmita Singha Roy (5120) and Navpreet Kaur (5022).

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