Benn Harradine of Australia who had led the Commonwealth lists in discus throughout this season expectedly took the title, with a 65.45 metre effort, but all eyes among a near-capacity Sunday crowd were riveted on just one man near the cage — Vikas Gowda.
As it turned out, 27-year-old Gowda produced his best series ever including a season-best 63.69m to get the silver, the first big medal for the US-based Mysorean, after his Asian championship silver in 2005.
So many championships had ended in disappointments since then and it was feared that Gowda might not realise his potential in his prime. He proved everyone wrong on Sunday. Harradine had a 65.45 in the fourth round after he led early with a second-round 64.73. The 27-year-old Aussie had finished eighth in the last edition at home. He had led the season, coming into this meet, among Commonwealth athletes, with his 66.45m for the silver at the Continental Cup in Split, Croatia.
Gold for Baptiste
Englishman Leon Baptiste won the biggest title of his career, running away with the men's 200 metres gold. It was a race which he dominated throughout, running hard on the curve, holding his pace through the final 50 metres and signalling victory as he crossed.
Baptiste, the 2003 European junior champion, clocked a personal best 20.45s that was good enough in a field that did not contain the top Jamaicans or even the second-rung Caribbeans. Jamaican Lanceford Spence bettered his best of 20.54s clocked in the semfinals earlier in the evening with a 20.49 for the silver while Christian Malcolm, former CWG, World indoor and European silver medallist, all of 31 years, took the bronze in 20.52s.
Greene clears hurdles
Favourite David Greene of Wales was fluent over the hurdles and won after a close battle with South African Louis Jacobus van Zyl. The two were almost together at the eighth hurdle, with the Welsh clearing ahead, but on the ninth the South African, a finalist at the Beijing Olympics, almost caught up.
Through the flat Greene was able to hold his poise as Van Zyl started fading. Eventually, it was 48.52s for the 24-year-old Welshman and 48.63 for the 25-year-old South African, both under Indian all-comer's record of 49.03s set by Chinese Meng Yan in Bangalore in 2006.
Canadian Nicole Forrester took the high jump gold, to make up for her disappointment of no-heighting in the Melbourne Games. She had won bronze in the 2002 Games and had come sixth in 1998. The 33-year-old Canadian had a jump-off with Jamaican Sheree Francis after both cleared 1.88 and failed at 1.91. Both had the same record on count back. The jump-off at 1.91 was cleared by Forrester while Francis failed.
Ajoke Odumosu of Nigeria took the women's 400m hurdles title in a slow 55.28s. The women's 200m final was rescheduled and will now be run on Monday after the jury decides on a protest.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games