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commonwealth games (5)

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Andy Turner
Andy Turner, William Sharman and Lawrence Clarke

08 October 2010

England's Andy Turner (Lloyd Cowan) has completed a stunning year by adding Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles gold to the European Championships title he won in Barcelona this summer.

Turner, 30, led home an England 1-2-3 in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, edging out national champion Will Sharman (George Maciukiewicz) and 20-year-old Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold), who claimed silver and bronze respectively while Scotland’s Chris Baillie (Malcolm Arnold) was eighth in 13.97 seconds.

Turner crossed the line in 13.38 seconds, with Sharman, who finished fourth at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, 0.12 seconds off the pace, while Clarke stopped the clock in 13.70.

Turner could not hide his delight at topping the pile in the Indian capital.

“I’ve so wanted this since winning in Barcelona,” he said. “It was in my mind that I really wanted to do the double and as time has gone by I’ve wanted it more and more and what a way that was to end the season.

“I knew I had a chance of winning the gold and I know I was in good shape going into that but I put the pressure on myself. Barcelona was the main goal for me so this is just a bonus.”

Sharman revealed that he has been struggling with illness in Delhi, but was quick to pay tribute to his England team-mate. “It’s been quite tough because I’ve picked up some kind of illness,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for my mum and sister being out here in Delhi I probably wouldn’t have run but I wanted to do it for them.

“So, I ran, but it really was touch and go but in the end I’ve come through and picked up a medal.

"I’m really happy for Andy because he’s been having a fantastic season, where as mine hasn’t gone so well.”

While Clarke also admitted he was running through the pain barrier. “This means the world for me,” he said. “I looked over the last hurdle to see where everyone was and I know you’re told not to do that. I had some injuries all year and I tore my hip-flexor this morning which felt bad."

“I couldn’t even warm-up but I thought I’ve come all this way so I’ll just go for it and now I’ve got a medal I just can’t believe it.”

Steph Twell (Mick Woods), representing Scotland, claimed her maiden senior international medal in the 1500m at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – timing her move to perfection to take bronze.

Twell was the first of four Brits home, clocking 4:06.15 minutes as Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Nancy Langat took gold in a new Commonwealth Games record of 4:05.26 minutes.

Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) finished less than a second behind Twell in 4:06.83 minutes, while Helen Clitheroe (Trevor Painter) was back in eighth in 4:08.89 minutes and Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean tenth in 4:10.85 minutes.

“Just being here in Delhi has been such an amazing experience and I think I’ve taken so much from it,” said Twell. “I think the Commonwealth Games is such a big stage anyway, especially for me.

“It’s not a lesser competition coming at all because it’s such a strong field with an Olympic champion in it and I’m hoping that what I have achieved here can be a spring board for future competitions.”

Meanwhile, Martin Brockman (Christopher Bowman) dug deep to cling on to bronze in the decathlon, holding at bay a late challenge from compatriot Ben Hazell (Bill Jewers) in the 1500m, crossing the line in first place to seal third place.

Brockman ended on 7712 points while Hazell finished just outside the medals with a final total of 7676.

England’s Kevin Sempers (Ian Grant) completed the top five with 7571 points while Wales’ Ben Gregory (Alan Richardson) ended up in sixth place with 7383 points.

“Right at the last minute I scraped into the Commonwealth Games and to come away with a medal is just crazy,” said Brockman.

“I never thought I would get there. I think it was just the big occasion and it turned out I am a big competition performer.

Northern Ireland’s Tom Reynolds finished the competition on 7210 points in ninth place while Scotland’s Roger Skedd (Greg Richards), threw in the towel after the discus competition and did not compete in the pole vault, the javelin or the 1500m.

England’s Alex Smith (Shane Peacock) was denied hammer throw gold at the death by South Africa’s Christiaan Harmse who threw 73.15m with his very last effort.

Smith has to settle for silver after he managed 72.95m while bronze went to compatriot Mike Floyd (Kevin Madden), who achieved a best throw of 69.34m.

“It's good for British hammer throwing there's two people on the podium,” said Smith. “There's a lot of strength in depth this year and hopefully that will continue and be inspired by these medals.

“I think it's been a good trial for 2012, it's been the biggest crowd and the biggest stadium I've thrown in.”

Floyd added: “I came here I wanted a medal, I wanted to break 70 - I think I foot-fouled when I went over 70, but I'll take the medal. I was ranked seventh coming into this.”

Scotland duo Andrew Frost (Chris Black) and Mark Dry (Derek Evely) were fourth and sixth respectively with throws of 69.08m and 67.41, while England’s Matthew Lambley (Michael Morley) finished tenth (62.95m) and Wales’ Matthew Richards (Paul Jensen) ended up in 12th (60.52).

Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) comfortably progressed to the final of the 400m after clocking 45.82 seconds to finish second behind Michael Mathieu of the Bahamas in his semi-final.

“I don’t want to build myself up too much,” said Williams. “I’ve just been working hard to put myself in a position to make sure I’m in the final and now I’m safely there.

“The race is wide open and I know that now, and I know what it takes to get through to a final, and now I’m there all the nightmares are over so let’s bring it on.”

But Rob Tobin (Todd Bennett) could only finish in 46.27 seconds ending up fourth in his heat – outside the qualifying places.

In the third and final semi-final Graham Hedman (Nick Dakin) finished seventh in 47.02 seconds and Tom Druce (Malcolm Arnold) of Guernsey finished eighth in 48.30 seconds.

Meanwhile, 2002 silver medallist Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins) failed to add to her Commonwealth Games medal haul and had to settle for fifth place in the 400m final.

The 31-year-old Scot won bronze four years ago in the 400m hurdles but she struggled to could not challenge for the podium this time as gold went to African champion Amantle Montsho in 50.10.

"I thought I was really out of it by 200m and I didn't even get close," said McConnell. "I made it hard for myself having to run in the outside lane and it was my own fault I had such a weak start."

"I was training hard and I know I put a lot of work into coming here and I was trying to be as strong as I could but the damage was done between in the first 200 metres."

In the women’s 10,000m Charlotte Purdue (Mick Woods) produced an outstanding performance but had to settle for fourth place, just missing out on a medal as gold went to Grace Momanyi of Kenya as Scotland’s Freya Murray (Steve Jones) finished fifth in 33:24.59 minutes.

After four events in the heptathlon, England’s Louise Hazel (Fayyaz Ahmed) is up into third place after a personal best of 24.10 seconds in the 200m took her points tally to 3597.

“I’ve had a good day and I’m on track, I kept focused in the last race and I’m so pleased with how the day has gone,” said Hazel. "The only thing now is to focus on my speed so a nice big long jump tomorrow will hopefully set me up and then it’s all down to the 800m."

England duo Grace Clements (Julie Hollman) and Phyllis Agbo (Darrell Bunn) are currently fifth and sixth with overnight totals of 3427 and 3304 respectively.

In the women’s triple jump, Nadia Williams (Keith Fleming) finished sixth with a best leap of 13.66m while Yasmine Regis (Keith Fleming) achieved a season’s best of 13.55m – good enough for eighth.