Kelsey-Lee Barber wins javelin gold – Michmutters

Kelsey-Lee Barber wins javelin gold

Barber’s stunning last throw of 64.43m overshadowed the fact that the woman she overtook for gold was a fellow Australian Mackenzie Little.

Barber with silver medalist and compatriot Mackenzie Little.

Barber with silver medalist and compatriot Mackenzie Little.Credit:David Ramos

Little was thrilled with silver but must wonder what more she needs to do. Twice she threw personal bests. The first came after Barber had set down the mark for the field with the first throw of 63.52m. Little had never thrown that far in her life.

“I threw two personal bests and I can’t get better than that. I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said.
“We always know (Kelsey-Lee) is there. She’s not out until the last round so I knew I had to be there too. I asked for the crowd for the first time and that was so fun to have the crowd involved.“

When the moment demanded it, Little went big. She threw 64.03m with her first attempt and jumped into the gold medal place. She threw even bigger with her fifth of her at 64.27m, laying down the challenge to Barber.

Little has been here before. At the world championships a fortnight ago, she was sitting in the medal positions until she was squeezed out to fifth in the last round. Here, she threw bigger again and won silver.

Australia's Declan Tingay won silver in the men's 10,000 race walk.

Australia’s Declan Tingay won silver in the men’s 10,000 race walk.Credit:Getty

Meanwhile, on the track, Declan Tingay won silver in the men’s 10km race walk, unable to sustain his pace when the gold medalist, Evan Dunfee of Canada, broke in the last lap and pushed hard, opening up his gait and getting the judges twitchy with their yellow paddles.

Dunfee glanced at the judges with 100 meters to go and raised his arms in the air when he realized he wasn’t going to be penalized. I won in 38:36.37.

“Evan has built a career off that. It’s what he’s known for,” said Tingay, who finished in a personal best time of 38:42.33.

“I knew it was happening. In some ways, it’s unavoidable. When Evan wants a medal, he’s going to get it. I don’t think I’m at the stage in my career where I can hold off a walker like that.”

Asked if he had any concerns about Dunfee’s technique on the final lap, Tingay replied “absolutely not”.

“You are going to attract more attention from the judges when you kick away like that. In some ways, it’s a gamble you take. You pit your technique against the judges and, honestly, that’s half of the event,” he said.

At the final change of the women’s 4x100m relay Australia was in the frame for a medal. In third place they were meters ahead of Jamaica. The problem was Elaine Thompson-Herah was running last for England.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist ran down Australia’s Na Anang in the last five meters to win bronze by 0.08 seconds. Nigeria and England won gold and silver, respectively.

“That was insane,” Anang said. “I knew that we were in a good position, in a medal position, and I thought ‘legs, you’ve just got to take me as fast as you can’. Unfortunately her personal best of her is a whole second faster than mine. We were kind of hoping that Elaine might be tired after the 100 and the 200 but she didn’t run the heat and I guess that was to save her for the final.”

At any other Commonwealth Games, hurdler Michelle Jenneke would have won a medal – probably gold. These games, she was drawn next to the world record holder, who smashed the games’ record.

Michelle Jenneke competing in the 100m hurdle heats.

Michelle Jenneke competing in the 100m hurdle heats.Credit:Getty

Nigerian Tobi Amusan ran 12.3s over the 100 metres, eclipsing the previous record of 12.65s. When you consider Jenneke ran 12.68s, you might think she’d take a medal –but she ran fifth.

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