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Commonwealth Games: Bolt storms into limelight, English teen grabs fourth gold

Usain Bolt made a storming start to his Commonwealth Games Friday (August 1) by leading Jamaica into the final of the 4x100m relay on a day when pint-sized gymnast Claudia Fragapane became England's best performer at a Games in 84 years.

GLASGOW: Usain Bolt made a storming start to his Commonwealth Games Friday (August 1) by leading Jamaica into the final of the 4x100m relay on a day when pint-sized gymnast Claudia Fragapane became England's best performer at a Games in 84 years.

Olympic champion and world record holder Bolt ran the fourth leg of the heat with his Caribbean island quartet winning in 38.98 seconds to advance to the final scheduled for 2015 GMT on Saturday. His eagerly-awaited appearance came just two days after he allegedly described the Commonwealth Games as "shit", a claim he vehemently denied.

"I would never use that word. I love competing and I came here because I wanted to compete," said the superstar. "People here have been nice to me. Glasgow has been great, it's all good so far. It's just the weather, it got really cold. I am happy to be here and I am enjoying what's going on."

The afternoon belonged to 16-year-old, 4ft 6in (1.37m) Fragapane who made history by adding the floor gold to her wins in the vault, individual all-around and team events. The last Englishwoman to win four gold medals in a single Commonwealth Games was Joyce Cooper at Hamilton in 1930.

"As a child I was so bubbly, jumping around everywhere in my house. My mum just wanted to get me doing something and straight away I just loved gymnastics," said the teenager. "I like the determination needed and I wanted to progress."

Also in track and field action, Moses Kipsiro of Uganda defended his 10,000m title in a thrilling finish in a time of 27min 56.11sec ahead of Kenya's Josphat Bett and Canada's Cameron Levins. Australia's Dani Samuels won the women's discus while her 18-year-old compatriot Eleanor Patterson became the youngest gold medal winner in women's athletics since 1990 by claiming the high jump.

Jonathan Ndiku broke the Commonwealth Games record to win the men's 3000m steeplechase as Kenya completed a 1-2-3. Ndiku won in 8min 10.44sec ahead of Jairus Birech and double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi. Kenya's Eunice Sum, the world champion, won the women's 800m. Later Friday Sally Pearson added Commonwealth gold to her Olympic title in the 100m hurdles.

In the diving pool, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears beat Australia's Grant Nel and Matthew Mitcham in the men's synchronised 3m springboard. But Mitcham then teamed-up with Domonic Bedggood to win the synchronised 10m platform title ahead of England's Tom Daley, a gold medallist at New Delhi in 2010, and James Denny.

Canada's Jennifer Abel won the women's 1m springboard to take her record-equalling third gold medal in women's diving at the Commonwealth Games.


Australia cruised into the gold medal match of the women's hockey with a 7-1 mauling of South Africa. The Hockeyroos will face England, who beat New Zealand on penalties, in Saturday's final. Winners of the gold medal in three of the four competitions since hockey was introduced to the Commonwealth programme, Australia have now scored 32 goals in winning their five games in Glasgow so far.

South Africa won their fifth gold medal of the lawn bowls competition in the women's pairs while Scotland took the men's fours and singles through Darren Burnett.

Singapore completed a medal sweep in the table tennis women's singles. In the final, Feng Tianwei took gold by beating Yu Mengyu 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, after Lin Ye had earlier claimed the bronze. It is the fourth time Singapore has won all three medals in an event since table tennis was included in the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Ning Gao and Hu Li then won men's doubles for Singapore.

James Willstrop, England's losing men's singles squash finalist, kept alive his hopes of another medal after a closely-fought victory over New Zealanders Lance Beddoes and Paul Coll with partner Daryl Selby. The English third seeds needed 68 minutes to win an exciting quarter-final 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 to make the last four as the doubles events progressed towards the final stages on Friday.

In women's boxing, Nicola Adams reached Saturday's flyweight final where she will be looking to add Glasgow gold to her Olympic title. The Englishwoman booked her place by beating Canada's Mandy Bujold in Friday's semi-final. Standing between Adams and a gold medal is Northern Ireland's Michaela Walsh after she saw off Pinki Rani of India.

Nigerian teenage weightlifter Chika Amalaha was stripped of her gold medal in the women's 53kg category after failing a drugs test. Papua New Guinea's Dika Toua was promoted to the gold medal position with India's Santoshi Matsa and Swati Singh awared silver and bronze respectively.

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