|Blessing Okagbare after her win
Glasgow: Usain Bolt’s training partner Kemar Bailey-Cole took advantage of the Olympic champion's absence to coolly grab 100 metres gold at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, but Veronica Campbell Brown failed to seal a Jamaican double.
With the six-time Olympic champion and world record holder Bolt only competing in the 4x100 relay after an injury-hit season, the 22-year-old Bailey-Cole seized his chance and sped to victory in a time of 10 seconds flat at Hampden Park.
“I didn’t feel any pressure, I just went out there and executed my own race, but it wasn’t that perfect,” he told reporters. “I train with Usain Bolt but the friendship is not that close.”
Bailey-Cole made a slow start on a blustery Glasgow evening but his long stride helped him claw his way back into the main group and he powered past England’s Adam Gemili, who finished second in a time of 10.10 seconds. Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade claimed bronze.
Campbell-Brown, cleared in February of a doping violation which had led to a suspension, was beaten by Blessing Okagbare in the women's 100 final.
The blonde Nigerian stormed to victory in a Games record 10.85 seconds ahead of Campbell-Brown and fellow Jamaican Kerron Stewart.
“It is an honour and the reaction back home is going to be absolutely amazing,” Okagbare said.
There was, however, further glory for Jamaica when O’dayne Richards scooped gold in the men’s shotput while Sultana Frizell of Canada hurled herself to glory in the women’s hammer.
In swimming, England, South Africa and Australia all claimed two gold medals as world champions Cate Campbell, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos were victorious.
Jazz Carlin also won Wales first female swimming Commonwealth gold medal for 40 years in the 800m freestyle, whilst Audrey Lacroix claimed gold for Canada in the women’s 200m butterfly.
Australia have now won 17 of the 36 gold medals on offer in the pool and swept the board in the women’s 100m freestyle as Campbell just edged out sister Bronte by 0.18sec with Emma McKeon taking bronze.
South Africa’s star duo Van der Burgh and Le Clos had experienced very different meets before Monday, but were both back on top of the podium in contrasting fashion.
Van der Burgh hailed the most “emotional” victory of his career after bouncing back form disappointment in the 100m breaststroke to beat 19-year-old Englishman Adam Peaty to gold by just 0:02sec.
Meanwhile, Indian Matsa Santoshi’s bronze in women’s 53kg weightlifting may be upgraded to silver after Nigerian gold winner Chika Amalaha’s A sample returned positive for a banned substance on Tuesday. Another Indian, Swati Singh, who finished fourth in the competition, could also move a place up for the bronze.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper announced at the media briefing that Amalaha has been suspended from the Games till the results of her B sample comes out.
“She provided a positive A sample after she won her gold in the 53kg. We are following the correct procedures at this time and whilst that is going ahead she will be suspended,” Hooper said.