The Jamaican sprinting prowess is all too well-known. Though the country's best had not been entered in the Commonwealth Games here, Lerone Clarke showed that the Jamaican flag would be in the middle when the 100-metre medals ceremony was held, with a 10.12 triumph.
Ranked eighth in this season's lists in his country, the 29-year-old Clarke won a start-to-finish dash in great style, never being challenged by the rest and having the luxury of a fraction of a second to spare towards the end for a sideways glance.
“It feels amazing. It's my first championship victory. I know I am the best in the Commonwealth,” said Clarke who clocked 10.12s, the best seen in Delhi.
That last claim of being the best will surely not be agreeable to a horde of Commonwealth sprinters including world record holder Usain Bolt and former world record holder Asafaf Powell, Clarke's countrymen.
England's Mark Lewis-Francis at last won a CWG medal, the silver, and was overjoyed. He timed 10.20s with Trinidad's Aaron Armstrong taking bronze in 10.24s.
“Only the European silver was as good. This is the Commonwealth Games; this is massive,” said Lewis-Francis who had come seventh in Manchester in 2002.
Sally Pearson, the better-known Australian high hurdler, who took the decision to run the 100 metres at the last moment, justified her belief that she could win this one with a fine finish after Nigerian Osayemi Oludamola looked like running away with the title.
Pearson's final 20 metres proved decisive as she came home in a season best 11.28s. The Nigerian clocked 11.32s while Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and Grenadines, having come back from a doping suspension in 2007, took the bronze in 11.37s.
The women's short dash ended in quite a controversy after England's Laura Turner, one of the medal contenders, was disqualified for a false start. She ran all the same, being allowed to do so after the officials consulted the other runners and found that there would be no objection.
It was a strange decision, but Turner, obviously under tension, came in last. England protested, but the result stood, though technical officials said that a final decision was not announced.
Disappointment and elation
India had disappointment and elation on this day when the shot putters, Om Prakash Singh and Saurabh Vij, ended outside the podium, but Jhuma Khatun (1500m) and Mandeep Kaur (400m) made it to the finals of their events, a creditable achievement.
Khatun clocked her career best 4:12.30 in the heats to finish seventh, but came through as one of the four fastest losers. In the same heat, won by Kenyan Viola Kibiwot (4:08.76), India's O.P. Jaisha just missed the final, clocking 4:13.15.
Favourite Nancy Langat, the Olympic champion from Kenya, returned only 4:13.62 to win the other heat. In the same heat, Sushma Devi clocked 4:22.05 to come seventh and went out.
In the men's 400 metres, Harpreet Singh was eliminated in the heats, finishing fifth in 48.29s.
The fairytale progress of Abdul Najeeb Qureshi in the men's 100 metres ended rather tamely, with a seventh-place finish in the semifinal heat in 10.40s.
He fought it out with Sri Lankan Shehan Abepitiyage, the Commonwealth Youth Games champion in 2008, in avoiding the last place.
In the women's 100m semifinals, H.M. Jyothi finished sixth in her heat in 11.86s while Satti Geetha ended up seventh in her heat in 11.86s.
A Games record ensued in women's hammer throw event with Sultana Frizell of Canada throwing to a distance of 68.75m for the gold. Carys Parry of Wales (season best 64.93m) and Zoe Derham of England (64.04) took the minor medals.
National record holder Hardeep Kaur, with 59.96m, was 10th, failing to progress into the last series of three throws. Hardeep had a season best 61.21m in the Inter-State meet at Patiala.
At the half-way stage in decathlon, Jamoe Adjetey-Nelson of Canada was in the lead with 4238 points. India's Bharatender Singh was lying fifth at 3946 while AP. J. Vinod was 10th with 3793.
Bhartender was second in 100m (11.03s), third in long jump (7.29m), fourth in shot put (14.30), but fell behind in high jump (1.87) and 400m (50.87s).
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010