Commonwealth Games: England claim five track silvers as Weightman excels in 1500m

Last Updated: 29/07/14 11:16pm

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England's William Sharman (left) had to settle for silver in the men's 110 metres hurdles

England's William Sharman (left) had to settle for silver in the men's 110 metres hurdles

Sky Bet

Will Sharman missed out on the first major title of his career by four hundredths of a second as he had to settle for Commonwealth silver in the 110 metres hurdles.

The 29-year-old, who also came second four years ago in Delhi, was pipped to the line by Jamaica’s Andrew Riley, who took the gold in 13.36 seconds.

Sharman, a classically-trained pianist and former timekeeper on the TV show Gladiators, led coming off the final hurdle, but could not hold off his fast-finishing Jamaican rival.

Sharman has reached three successive World Championship finals, but went into the Games with only that silver from Delhi four years ago to his name.

The withdrawal of Jamaica's world number one Hansle Parchment through injury left the gold up for grabs, but the Derbyshire sprinter hit the eighth hurdle and the mistake cost him at a chilly Hampden Park.

"It was good to get a medal. It was a very tough field and it could have gone any way in the medal hunt," said Sharman.

"It was a close race. I made a big mistake by hitting (the hurdle) with my trail leg and that cost me, but that's no disrespect to the winner. He ran a great race and there we are."

Lawrence Clarke came home eighth, while there was huge disappointment for Andy Turner who declared himself “devastated” after crashing out in the heats.

Reigning Commonwealth champion Turner, the England athletics team captain, smacked the first hurdle and, unable to recover, his race was over by the third.

"I am devastated," the 33-year-old said. "I got too close to the first hurdle, hit it, and trying to come back from that is difficult. I hit the second one and that was it. I've no one to blame, it was my fault. I made a crucial mistake and that cost me even finishing the race.”

"Defending my title would have been difficult, it's a pretty tough field this time, but to not even make the final, to make such a big mistake when I haven't been making them... I haven't made that mistake all year and to do it here, it's a schoolboy mistake. It's one of the most devastating days on the track."

If silver had been the least expected of Sharman, the silver won by Laura Samuel in the triple jump was anything but.

The 23-year-old, who was unknown to all bar hardened athletics fans going into Glasgow 2014, shattered her personal best by launching herself out to 14.09m.

Unexpected silver for Samuel

The distance was 34 centimetres greater than her previous best and more than half a metre further than she had jumped this year, whilst it also sent the Leicester athlete up to third on the British all-time list.

Samuel, who finished 12 centimetres behind Jamaica's Kimberly Williams, has never competed before at a major senior championships - she won world junior silver in 2010, but has struggled since with injuries.

She admitted afterwards a podium place had been beyond her wildest expectations, stating: “To get a personal best, the best I've ever jumped, at the Commonwealth Games is amazing.”

"To make such a big mistake when I haven't been making them... I haven't made that mistake all year and to do it here, it's a schoolboy mistake. It's one of the most devastating days on the track."
Andy Turner

Laura Weightman was another to land silver for England as she claimed her maiden major championship medal in the 1,500 metres.

The 23-year-old, who is trained by Steve Cram, was strong enough down the home straight to hold off Canada's Kate van Buskirk and finish second in four minutes 09.24 seconds.

She raised her hands to her head in delight and disbelief as she crossed the line behind Kenyan winner Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon.

There was a fourth and fifth silver of the night for England thanks to Ashley Bryant in the decathlon, who finished a gruelling two days of competition with 8109 points, and Nicholas Miller in the hammer who also made the podium

In the 10,000m Scotland's Beth Potter put up a brave challenge before Kenyan class told and Joyce Chepkirui led home a one-two-three in 32:09.35.

Potter was then involved in a titanic domestic duel with England's Kate Avery for fourth, but, as both athletes were roared on down the home straight by the capacity crowd, the Scot was overhauled in the final metres and beaten by one hundredth of a second.

Martyn Rooney looked in superb form as he won his 400m semi-final in 45.22 and he would have gone under 45 seconds had he not eased up considerably at the finish.

He said: "It was probably the best I've felt for a long time. Coming off the bend I was feeling very, very comfortable. There was a lot left."

Meanwhile, Olympic champion and world number one Kirani James of Grenada showed his class in winning his semi-final without breaking sweat in 45.14, but Rooney's England team-mates Michael Bingham and Nigel Levine both went out.

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