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Commonwealth Games: James, Rutherford give Glasgow Olympic touch

Olympic champions Kirani James and Greg Rutherford brought world-class performances to the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday (July 30), while Usain Bolt hit back at claims that he'd made disparaging remarks about the event.

GLASGOW: Olympic champions Kirani James and Greg Rutherford brought world-class performances to the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday (July 30), while Usain Bolt hit back at claims that he'd made disparaging remarks about the event.

James won the men's 400m to give Grenada its first Commonwealth Games gold and became the first man to win gold in the discipline at both Olympic and Commonwealth level. "I am happy for my country and everyone affiliated to us," said 21-year-old James who took gold ahead of Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and Trinidad's Lalonde Gordon.

England's Rutherford, 27, backed up his Olympic long jump gold in 2012 with the Commonwealth title. His leap of 8.20 metres was enough to defeat South Africa's Zarck Visser by eight centimetres with Rushwahl Samaai, also of South Africa, taking bronze. "It's never an easy road and after last year I never thought I would win a medal," said Rutherford.

Elsewhere, Canada's Derek Drouin won the men's high jump to add to his Olympic bronze. Kenya swept the women's 3000m steeplechase with Purity Cherotich Kirui leading home Milcah Chemos Cheywa and Joan Kipkemoi. In heptathlon, there was a Canadian one-two through Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Jessica Zelinka.

New Zealand's Valerie Adams once again showcased her unbeatable shot put talent, adding a third Commonwealth crown to two Olympic and four world gold medals, easily beating the field with her second effort of 19.88m.

Australia's world silver medallist Kim Mickle threw a Games record of 65.96m to win the women's javelin, a perfect boost after the country's federation earlier suspended head coach Eric Hollingsworth for disparaging comments about the team's star hurdler Sally Pearson.

Earlier on Wednesday, Jamaica's Warren Weir, the 200m favourite in the absence of Jamaican compatriot Bolt, cruised through his heat in a comfortable time of 20.71 seconds. Also qualifying for Thursday's semi-finals were Daniel Bailey of Antigua and South African Wayde van Niekerk.

Bolt meanwhile was irate after The Times newspaper reported that he had called Glasgow's Commonwealth Games "a bit shit", ahead of his appearance in the 4x100 metres relay.

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Asked if he was having a good time in Glasgow, the 100m and 200m Olympic champion and world record holder reportedly replied "not really" and said that the London 2012 Olympics "were better".

But Bolt and his manager later called the claims "rubbish" and the athlete himself took to Twitter to deny the report. "I'm waking up to this nonsense... journalist please don't create lies to make headlines," Bolt wrote.

The sprint superstar was later seen cheering on the Jamaican netball team in a group game against New Zealand, where he joined in with a Mexican wave and told reporters the Games were "awesome".

In diving, taking place in Edinburgh, the favoured Canadian pair Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion took gold in the women's synchronised 10m platform.

England took the day's other two golds with Jack Laugher in the men's 1m springboard while the women's 3m synchronised springboard title went to Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree.

In gymnastics, England's Max Whitlock won the men's individual all-around final while compatriot Claudia Fragapane led an English one-two-three in the women's event.

Canada and Nigeria dominated freestyle wrestling. David Trembley took the men's -61kg title with Arjun Gill claiming gold in the -97kg division while victory in the women's -69kg went to Dori Yeats. Nigeria's Odunayo Adekuoroye took the women's -53kg and Aminat Adeniyi the -58kg title.

Maryam Usman claimed gold for Nigeria in women's +75kg weightlifting with defending champion Ele Opeloge of Samoa taking silver, six months after giving birth. David Katoatau won the tiny Pacific island nation of Kiribati's first ever medal at the Games as he claimed gold in men's 105kg weightlifting.

Women's squash singles champion Nicol David was beaten for the first time in Glasgow but she and women's doubles partner Low Wee Wee still progressed to the quarter-finals.

The Malaysian pair's participation in the competition was in doubt after they were beaten 11-8, 11-5 in 17 minutes by Indian pair Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa in their second pool game.

But David and Low, the fourth seeds, responded by seeing off the threat of Sri Lankans Mihiliya Methsarani and Nadindhi Ugangaw 11-2, 11-2 in just nine minutes.

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