GC2018: Day 3 Highlights
BARKER CLAIMS GOLD FOR TEAM WALES ON ANOTHER DAY OF SUCCESS
Barker from Cardiff wins Women’s 25km Points Race in style
A second silver medal for BVI sprint cyclist James Ball
Bronze for Chloe Tutton in the 200m breaststroke
Wales 8th in medal table (2 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze)
Elinor Barker made it a golden night for Team Wales as she produced a stunning ride to win the Women’s 25km Points Race on day 3 at Gold Coast 2018.
The 23 year old from Cardiff became the first Welsh cyclist to win a Commonwealth title on the track since Auckland 1990.
She has now completed the clean sweep of major Games titles – Olympic, World, European and now Commonwealth Gold.
The manner of her victory was breath-taking as she launched a daring breakaway to win the fifth sprint, and then lifting the roof at the Anna Meares Velodrome as she gained a lap on the field to collect a 20 point score.
With double points awarded on the final sprint, Barker made sure no-one could overhaul her by turning on the power to cross the line first to score maximum points. She finished on 40, ahead of nearest rival Scotland’s Katie Archibald with 20.
Team-mates Dani Rowe and Jessica Roberts also played their part in a thrilling tactical race, as Wales won their second Gold of the Games.
Afterwards, Barker was embraced trackside by her parents and siblings, including sister and team-mate Megan, who had travelled to Australia to support her.
“It’s the first time all six of us have been in the same room for a year and a half so it’s very special,” she said.
“Winning for Wales feels much closer to home – it’s a brilliant feeling.
“I wasn’t confident before. I was getting nervous as I sat out the first four sprints and it was kind of ‘do or die’. Either I was going to get the lap and be in the lead or blow up and the race would be over. Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to do something. Thankfully it came off.”
Also in the Cycling…
Earlier James Ball, with pilot Pete Mitchell, won his second silver medal of the Games in the Blind and Visually Impaired Sprint, after losing the final 2-0 to the Scotland’s Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham.
Ball said, “Winning two medals was the target when we came out so I’m pleased. We did our best so I’m happy.”
“The Welsh team has been amazing. We’ve not being staying in the village with the other sports but everyone has been brilliant. I’m really, really happy!”
Earlier in the day, Wales’ Women’s Sprint team of Ellie Coster and Rachel James narrowly missed out on a medal, losing the bronze medal race to England.
Lewis Oliva couldn’t repeat his medal wining form from the Keirin, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
Wales’s Megan Barker, Manon Lloyd and Jessica Roberts, finished fifth in the 4000m Women’s Team Pursuit, and Joe Holt qualified for the final of the Men’s 15km Scratch race
Chloe Tutton won Wales’ first medal in the pool on Saturday night on another highly competitive night at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre.
The 21 year old from Rhondda Cynon Taf claimed bronze in the 200 metres breaststroke, behind South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker and England’s Molly Renshaw.
Tutton said, “I really wanted to leave with a medal so I’m happy. I was hoping for first but the tail end of the race was tough.”
Earlier Georgia Davies finished fifth in the 100m backstroke. She took silver in the same event four years ago, but still wasn’t disappointed with her swim.
“I’m pleased with that,” said Davies, whose preferred event is the 50m backstroke.
“Even though I’m not coming away with a medal, I know it’s not my strongest race so it spurs me on for the next. It’s a tough competition but I’m really proud of the team for their achievements in the pool so far and there’s still a lot to come.”
The women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team came fifth.
Alys Thomas qualified for the 50m butterfly final, while Xavier Castello will start in lane 7, after making it through to the men’s 50m backstroke final.
Calum Jarvis was knocked out in the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle.
Wales 47 – 51 Scotland
After their courageous performance against world number two New Zealand on Friday, Wales were looking to build on their strengths against Celtic rivals Scotland this evening. With both sides looking for their first win of the competition, it was set to be a fiery contest.
It was another nervy start for Wales as the match developed a physical edge from the outset. Scotland took the upper hand early in the match as Wales’ inability to get a pass away saw them cede possession several times. Nevertheless, Wales were dogged in attack and despite trailing on shooting percentage, turnovers and the penalty count, Wales took an early lead.
There was a more consistent start to the second quarter from Wales as they managed to build a solid lead. But the Scots were never too far behind with the score stood at 24 – 23 to Wales going into half time.
That lead was overturned soon after the break, and Scotland put clear blue water between themselves and Wales on the scoreboard. With less that 10 minutes to go, the Scots were 9 points clear. But Wales created a tense finish, narrowing the deficit to four points at full time.
The team must now regroup ahead of their match against England on Monday 9 April.
British champion Tesni Evans shocked top seed Laura Massaro to reach the women’s squash semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Wales’ Evans beat England’s Massaro 3-1 and will face another Englishwoman, Sarah Jane-Perry, in the last four.
Massaro faced three match points before Evans claimed victory at the fourth attempt to complete a third successive win over her English opponent.
Evans, from Rhyl, had raced into a 2-0 lead but Massaro battled back before the Welsh player closed the game out.
“I felt like there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I felt relief to get through that,” she added.
“Winning a match like that against the favourite will give me a lot of confidence going into the next round.
“I’m honestly not thinking about medals. I’m just taking it game by game.”
She’ll be guaranteed at least a silver medal if she wins her semi-final.
Joel Makin is also through to the last four in the men’s singles. He defeated Alan Clyne from Scotland 3-2.
Day three was also going to be a pivotal day in the quest for medals in Week One of the Lawn Bowls events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Starting the day, in the Ladies Singles event Laura Daniels was safe in the knowledge that she was through to the evenings Quarter Finals, however wanted to continue the good form that has seen her unbeaten to date in Section B. In the battle for top spot in the group, it was Caroline Brown from Scotland who came out on top winning 21-13, with Laura up against it at 0-8 down early on.
In the Quarter Final draw, Laura was pitted against Carmen Andersen of the Norfolk Islands who came through Section C unbeaten. A tight affair ensued under the Broadbeach lights early on with Neath’s Daniels heading out to a 9-4 lead after 10 ends. Despite Andersen pegging Laura back to 13-14, the World Champions of Champions winner and current World Pairs champion showed her big match qualities, winning all of the remaining ends to win 21-13 in a game she never trailed.
The most pivotal game early in the day came in the Mens Pairs, where Dan Salmon and Marc Wyatt knew only a win would secure a Quarter Final spot at the expense of their experienced Northern Ireland opponents Gary Kelly and Ian McClure.
Dan and “Sparky” however, put in a sensational performance racing out to a 12-0 lead early on. Despite being pegged back to 14-8, they finished with 13 shots without reply to win convincingly 27-8 booking a night session Quarter Final with New Zealand.
The good news didn’t end there, with a terrific performance to convincingly beat a strong looking Kiwis pair of Blake Signal and Shannon McIlroy. They led out 5-1 early on and quickly raced into a 10-3 lead after 10 ends. With the game slipping away from the New Zealand pair, Penylan’s Dan and Caerphilly Town’s Marc showed their class to extend their lead to 19-5 with their opponents shaking hands at 20-7 handing the boys a guaranteed shot at medal.
The Mens Triples, like Laura in the Ladies Singles knew that a Quarter Final spot was secured, but wanted to continue their momentum with a final group match against England. Ross Owen, Steve Harris & Jonathan Tomlinson got off to a great start leading out 8-3 and 14-9 before England made a comeback in the final ends to edge out the boys 17-16.
Safely through though, a Quarter Final draw against Scotland in the early evening session awaited them.
Again, Ross, Steve & Tomo raced out to an early lead 11-2 after 8 ends. However, the Scottish trio of Ronnie Duncan, Derek Oliver and Darren Burnett found their feet in the second half of the game to reduce the deficit to 11-8. A double on the 14th end pushed the boys out to 13-8. But, Scotland managed to win all the remaining ends with a 4 and 3 singles to take the game 15-13.
Meanwhile Julie Thomas & Gilbert Miles continued their quest for medals in the B6/B7 Mixed Pairs with a excellent 21-11 win over England. They have 2 remaining matches in the group stage and will be looking to secure a semi-final spot with a win over Australia tomorrow morning.
Jon Hubbard, Ray Lillicrop & Pauline Wilson also entertained the crowds under the night lights, this time up against South Africa. However they found the Proteas again a tough ask losing out 21-4.
With two combinations remaining in medal contention in Week One of the Lawn Bowls events. Wales holds its breath hoping for a Super Sunday down under.
Malaysia 3 – 0 Wales
Wales’ Men suffered defeat to Malaysia in their second pool B match of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The 12th ranked side in the world beat Danny’s Newcombe’s side 2-0.
Malaysia came into the match on the back of a 7-0 spanking against England, but they started brightest and took the lead. Wales goalkeeper David Kettle clattered Malaysia’s in the D and Saari expertly despatched the resulting penalty flick into the top right corner.
In the second period, Wales dominated possession and territory and pushed hard to get back on terms. As the half-time hooter approached, captain Luke Hawker’s driven cross was deflected just wide, to leave it 1-0 to Malaysia at half-time
Momentum swung back to Malaysia in the third period, with Kettle making two excellent saves. But he couldn’t prevent Malaysia doubling their lead, as van Huizen’s penalty corner took a deflection and crept inside the left post, to make it 2-0 heading into the final quarter.
Malaysia snuffed out any chance of a Welsh comeback late on with a third goal.
Wales captain Luke Hawker said, “We created quite a lot and got the ball in the scoring circle but just couldn’t take the chances. We conceded at crucial times and left ourselves too much to do.”
“We’ve got India tomorrow evening and then England. It doesn’t help us too much – two quality sides. It will be the first time a lot of our boys will have played teams like that, so they will learn a lot from it. But if we get our defence right and take our opportunities going forward, there is no reason why we can’t compete.”
Bevan and Maise Methuen came joint sixth in the all-around competition.
team of Non Stanford, Iestyn Harrett, Olivia Matthias and Chris Silver finished
sixth in the Mixed Team Relay.
full schedule for Team Wales on Sunday 8th April, please go to: https://results.gc2018.com/en/all-sports/schedule-wales.htm