Here’s my summary of today’s track action in Delhi, from the Canadian Running site:
The pole vaulters saved the day for Canada in an otherwise bittersweet final session of track and field at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Tuesday. (The marathons are still to come on Thursday, but no Canadians will be competing.) Carly Dockendorf and Kelsie Hendry each vaulted 4.25 metres to finish in a three-way tie with England’s Kate Dennison for the bronze medal. Earlier in the evening, the Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay squad had been disqualified for a botched exchange after posting the fastest time in the semi-finals — a time that would have comfortably won gold had they repeated it in the final.
A stirring final leg by Edmonton’s Carline Muir almost brought the women’s 4×400-metre relay team onto the podium, coming up just a fraction short to finish fourth in a time of 3:30.20. The home team from India held off Nigeria to win the gold medal, stirring the packed stadium to a frenzy. Here’s what Muir had to say after the race:
For distance running fans, the highlights were the women’s 5,000 metres and the men’s 1,500 metres. In the 5,000, Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot, Sylvia Kibet and Ines Chenonge sat at the back of the nine-person field for the first two kilometres, covered in a modest 6:53, then gradually pulled away to sweep the medals. The winning time was 15:55.12. Scotland’s Stephanie Twell, a sub-15-minute runner and medalist in the 1,500 metres earlier this week, took fourth, while Canada’s Megan Wright finished eighth.
The Kenyans were also seeking to sweep the 1,500, led by sub-3:30 man Silas Kiplagat. Leading the challenge was New Zealand’s defending Commonwealth champ and Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis. Through the first three laps, it was the three Kenyans leading at a pedestrian pace (59.9, 2:02.2, 3:03.3), followed by Willis, with the entire field in close contact. It wasn’t until 180 metres to go that the final finishing sprint was launched, with Willis managing to overtake Gathimba in the final straight to earn a bronze behind Kiplagat and Magut. Here are Willis’s post-race comments: