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Commonwealth games (6)

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Jo Jackson

09 October 2010

England's Jo Jackson produced a dominant performance as she lead from gun to tape to win 20km walk gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Despite the early morning start, temperatures were still soaring in the Indian capital as Jackson (Andi Drake) clocked a Games record one hour, 34 minutes, 22 seconds - erasing Jane Saville's mark from Manchester eight years ago.

She dictated the pace to a small nine-strong field as pre-race favourite, Australia's Cheryl Webb, struggled.

Her winning margin was well over two minutes as Australian Claire Tallent and Kenya's Grace Njue completed the podium.

"I'd dreamt of it and I was really worried it wasn't going to come true," said Jackson.

"I put everything into it and it paid off. My original plan was to stick with the leaders and move in the second half. It was just too slow and technically, I am better if I am moving fast.

"I didn't mean to get a gap, but it just happened. so I just kept on pushing. I died a bit towards the end, but I thought I'll just relax now and just go and win it.

"It gives me a taste to win more medals now."

However, there was no fairytale comeback for 43-year old mum of four Lisa Kehler.

Kehler quit the sport after winning her third Commonwealth medal eight years ago and was forced to settle for fourth in Delhi, although she still clocked a one hour, 40 minutes and 33 second season's best.

“Well I can’t argue with that can I fourth place with a season's best at my age," she said.

"I did struggle a bit there towards the end because I went so hard in the middle to make up time, but it’s not too bad."

Australia's Jared Tallent won the men's 20km walk with England's Luke Finch (Martin Bell), the top British finisher in tenth.

Rhys Williams (Malcolm Arnold) progressed fastest to the 400m hurdles final where he’ll be joined by fellow Welsh athlete and European champion Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold).

Williams, the European silver medallist, clocked 49.81 secs to win his heat with ease while Greene, who admitted he struggled with the early morning start, won his race in 49.98 secs.

South African Louis Van Zyl also admitted to feeling a little sluggish and was beaten into second in his heat by England's Richard Yates (Stephen Ball), who ran a season's best 49.83 secs.

"It was never going to look forward to an early start but I'm through to the final and I've got a seeded lane - so no complaints," said Greene.

"I still think it's me and the South African for the gold and silver. If I execute my race like I know I can then I should be coming home with the gold."

Williams was also not getting carried away with his fastest qualifier status.
"It's not about qualifying times, it's just about progressing," he said.

"I'm pleased, it will mean a nice lane draw but it's going to be a good quality final and nothing has been achieved yet."

Scotland's Eilidh Child (Stuart Hogg) was second quickest through the women's 400m hurdles heats in 56.16 secs and will joined in the final by senior international newcomer Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin), who ran a 56.95 secs.

"I wanted to be in the first two to get a good lane draw for the final and hopefully I've kept enough in the tank for tomorrow," said Child, who finished just behind fastest qualifier Muizat Odumosu.

There were no dramas in the men's 200m first round with England's Leon Baptiste (Michael Khmel) and Marlon Devonish (Tony Lester), plus Welsh European silver medallist Christian Malcolm (Dan Pfaff) all progressing with ease.

"After missing qualifying for the Europeans I've waited a long time for this," said Baptiste.

"It was really, really comfortable. There's a long way to go but I want to do some damage."

Louise Hazel (Fayyaz Ahmed) produced a 6.44m personal best in the long jump to take a slender 74 point advantage into the concluding two events of the heptathlon, the javelin and 800m.

Canada's Jessica Zelinka is her nearest rival while Jamaica's Peaches Roach and Ghana's Margaret Simpson are also in the medal mix.

England’s Carl Myerscough, who missed a medal in the shot, was one of only three athletes to achieve the discus qualifying distance, throwing 60.02 metres.

But he’ll still be joined in the final by team-mates Emeka Udechuku (self) and Chris Scott (Andrew Neal) plus Scot Angus McInroy (Hugh Murray) and Wales’ Brett Morse (Nigel Bevan).