By Dela Ahiawor on the Gold Coast
Akani Simbine (South Africa) and Michelle-Lee Ahye took the men’s and women’s 100m golds on the second day of athletics at the Carrara Stadium here on Monday.
Simbine’s win was least expected as pre-event favourite Yohan Blake had boasted of there “being plenty in the tank” after last night’s semifinals.
But, Simbine and compatriot Henricho Bruintjies proved otherwise as they took 1-2 in the blue riband event. What more it was South Africa’s first ever gold medal over the distance.
Simbine seized control at the halfway stage and was never in trouble thereafter as he closed in to complete a splendid win in 10.03s.
Blake was still in line for the silver but was overtaken by Bruintjies, who clocked 10.17s. The Jamaican 2011 World champion was involved in a photo-finish with Nigerian Seye Ogunlewe before being awarded the bronze in 10.19s.
The women’s 100m, in contrast, was a straight affair as favourite Ahye became the first woman from Trinidad & Tobago to win gold in the Games, taking the race with a dominant display and a time of 11.14s. Jamaicans Christania Williams and Gayon Evans took silver and bronze clocking 11.21s and 11.22s.
Ahye is the second athlete from here country to take gold in the event, after Ato Bolden, winner of the men’s race at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games with a record time of 9.88s. The win here for her also made up for the disappointment of having to withdraw from the 100m semifinals in Glasgow owing to a hamstring injury.
World indoor and outdoor champion Tom Walsh (New Zealand) was unable to match his impressive qualification mark of 22.45m but still was an easy winner of the shot put put with a heave of 21.41m.
But in Nigerian Cukwuebuka Enekwech, the event had a surprise silver meallist who threw a personal best 21.14m. Tim Medow took bronze with 20.91m.
The women’s 10,000m was dominated by East African athletes, as Stella Chesang (Uganda) topped in 31:45.30, followed by Stacy Ndiwa (Kenya), in a personal best of 31:46.36, and Mercyline Chelangat (Uganda) in 31:48.41.
Among Indian athletes, Mohammed Anas won the third semifinal of men’s 400m in a relatively good time of 45.44s. Tejinder Singh, who featured in the shot put final, was placed eighth as he was far from his personal best and settled for 19.42 off his third effort.
Tejaswini Shankar made it to the final of the men’s high jump, clearing 2.21m — a height which seemed to be the norm for all those who passed the initial test from Group A.
There was a bit to cheer late into the evening when Suriya Loganathan achieved a personal best time of 32:23.56s in the women’s 10000m, though finishing only 13th.
In the morning, Hima Das, running her first international event in women’s 400m, qualified for the semifinal with a time of 52.11s in the fifth heat. M.R. Poovamma had wound up fifth in heat 1 in 53.72s.