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commonwealth games (1)

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Gemma Prescott
First medal for England Athletics team came via Prescott

06 October 2010 

England's Mark Lewis-Francis (Linford Christie) clocked a season’s best time to lay down an early marker for 100m gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The 28-year-old European silver medallist clocked 10.15 seconds in to win his first round heat, before advancing to tomorrow’s semi-finals with another victory in the second round in 10.20.

Lewis-Francis’ first-round time was the fastest in the field but in round two, Jamaica’s Oshane Bailey clocked the quickest time of the day, crossing the line in 10.12.

“I’m over the moon with that run. Linford told me to go out there and have fun and that’s what I’m doing, and I’m taking it round by round and seeing how it goes,” said Lewis-Francis.

“I turned 28 the other day so I’m not taking life too seriously at the moment! I’m just going with the flow and not putting too much pressure on myself.

“It’d be really nice to leave with a medal but I’ll be looking at it stage by stage. It’s really hot out here, I’ve never ran in conditions like it before.”

In the women’s F32-34/52/53 final shot put final Gemma Prescott (Mike Wood) collected England’s first athletics medal of the 2010 Games by taking bronze with a best effort of 5.54m.

“My aim was to come out and to try and throw a PB,” said Prescott. “I didn't do that, but you've got to be pleased with a bronze medal. It's the first time I have won a medal at a major championship, so it's pretty special.

“It's great. I've got lots of friends and family to thank. I’ve got lots of people to thank who have put in a lot of effort to help me train.”

Meanwhile, in the women’s 100m heats England trio Montell Douglas (Ayo Falola), Laura Turner (Linford Christie) and Katherine Endacott (Linford Christie) all advanced to the next round, as did Wales’ Elaine O’Neill (Tom Crick), Northern Ireland’s Amy Foster and Kylie Robilliard of Guernsey.

Endacott was the pick of the bunch, clocking 11.50 seconds while O’Neill won her heat in 11.60 seconds and Robilliard set a new personal best of 12.20 seconds.

In the 5000m final England’s Chris Thompson (John Nuttall), who won 10,000m silver at the European Championships, finished fifth in the 10,000m in 13.39.28 minutes.

“I've enjoyed every minute of it and it's given me the fuel I need for a good winter. I've had an awesome season and that caps it off for me,” said Thompson.

“I tried to stick with those guys for as long as possible. I think they ran the last lap in 53 seconds - I can do that but not after 11.5 laps!”

There were also impressive finishes for Guernsey’s Lee Merrien (John Nuttall), who crossed the line in 14.19.33 minutes to take 15th spot while England’s Lee Emanuel was 19th in 14:31.38 minutes.

In the women’s 400m heats Scotland’s Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins), who won bronze in 2002 and 400m hurdles silver in 2006, led the British qualifiers.

She clocked 53.24 seconds to win her heat while England quartet Vicki Barr (Ayo Falola), advanced in 53.86, and Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball), Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) also progressed.

“I didn’t want to go too hard in the 200m - I just wanted to take it easy and it went well,” said McConnell.

“I felt like I was in control of the race and I just watched the big screen as I came over the line at the end.

“It’s nice to compete for Scotland for a change. I keep seeing the English girls and they keep saying how weird it is that we aren’t in the same team but we’re all friends here and it’s nice.”

Northern Ireland duo Jo Patterson and Katie Kirk (Mark Kirk) bowed out but their compatriot Joanna Mills squeezed through after clocking 55.46 seconds, good enough for fourth place in her heat.  

In the women’s hammer throw, Wales’ Carys Parry (Lorraine Shaw) qualified in first place with a best effort 63.53m while England’s Zoe Derham (Lorraine Shaw) was second after throwing 62.33m.

“All I’m thinking about is getting a personal best but to get my hands on something shiny would be very nice as well!” said Derham.

In the men’s shot put, England’s Carl Myerscough (Self) impressed in qualifying and advanced in second place after throwing 18.82m while England’s Scott Rider (John Hillier) joins him in advancing after a best effort of 18.02m.

And Jersey’s 19-year-old Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) also squeezed through in 12th place with a throw of 16.01m.

“It went fine. No problems, I am quite happy,” said Myerscough. “Tomorrow, I'll definitely be fighting for a medal, that's the plan.”