Elaine Thompson-Herah finally wins Commonwealth Games 100 meter gold

Elaine Thompson-Herah finally wins Commonwealth Games 100 meter gold

Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah claimed her first Commonwealth Games 100m title when Daryll Neita’s challenge failed.

The 30-year-old ran 10.95 seconds, while England’s Neita was only able to take bronze after a shock start.

Jamaica’s Thompson-Herah had not previously won a singles title at the Commonwealth Games, despite winning five Olympic gold medals.

“I’m feeling good, I could have had a better execution, but I’m still grateful to have won my first Commonwealth title,” she said.

“I started as a rookie in 2014. Then in 2018 I was fourth in the 200 meters. Now I’ve gone gold, so I’m grateful.”

She was the only one of Jamaica’s star trio to compete with world 200m champion Shericka Jackson and 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to skip games after last month’s world championships in Eugene.

Thompson-Herah took the 100m bronze behind her teammates in Oregon and was the star in Birmingham, where England’s Dina Asher-Smith missed out with a hamstring injury.

It meant that Neita, who reached the Olympic final last year, was expected to be the main rival of Thompson-Herah and the British champion beat her personal best by 10.90 seconds in the semi-finals.

But she was only able to run 11.07 seconds in the final after a terrible start and also finished behind Julien Alfred of St. Lucia.

“I let myself fall. I go back, watch it with my trainer, analyze it, get shouted at and beat up,” Neita said.

“It shows that my acceleration is phenomenal, but I can’t afford to run 10.90 in the semifinals and 11.07 in the final. It’s not good enough.

“It’s frustrating because I was able to win it and I really let myself down. I’m racing against one of the fastest women ever, the competition was tough but I could have done better.

“One thing about me is that I’m able to turn every single negative thing into a positive. I’ll use this building for the next thing.”

In the men’s race, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala took the title in 10.02 seconds ahead of defending champion Akani Simbine.

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon took bronze while England’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake suffered an apparent hamstring injury and finished last.

Omanyala shrugged off last month’s disappointment when he faced visa problems ahead of the World Cup and only arrived in America hours before his 100-meter dash before being eliminated in the semifinals.

“I came here with the sole aim of winning gold and the final was about controlling the race from the start,” he said.

“Once I got a good start, I knew I was going to win gold. When I crossed the finish line I felt like jumping for joy.”

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan took gold in the 10,000m in a game record of 30 minutes 48.60 seconds, repeating mother Liz who won the race in 1986 and 1990.

It was her first major title as she defeated Kenya’s Irene Cheptai after a race-long duel.

She said: “It’s been such a year of ups and downs. But I knew that fitness was somewhere in me. Having my family here and the crowd here. It vibrated through my whole body. I just wanted it so bad.

“I knew the Kenyans were super strong and would shoot in spurts. But you can see in the last 100m I wanted gold. It’s an absolute dream. It’s very special to have it here in the UK.

“This is my fourth Commonwealth and I’ve finished sixth every time. I was ready to win the medal.”

Earlier in the morning, Matt Hudson-Smith stormed through the first lap of the 400m at Alexander Stadium.

The Wolverhampton-born athlete took bronze at the World Championships in Eugene last month, winning his run in 46.26 seconds.

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