Elaine Thompson-Herah finally claims Commonwealth Games gold in 100 metres

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Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah clinched her first Commonwealth Games 100m title as Daryll Neita’s challenge failed to materialise.

The 30-year-old ran 10.95 seconds while England’s Neita could only manage bronze after a shocking start.

Jamaica’s Thompson-Herah had not previously won an individual Commonwealth Games title before despite claiming five Olympic golds.

“I feel good, I could have had a better execution, but I am still grateful to win my first Commonwealth title,” she said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah
Elaine Thompson-Herah won gold (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I started out as a rookie in 2014. Then I was fourth in 2018 in the 200m. Now I have moved up to a gold, so I am grateful.”

She was the only one of Jamaica’s star trio to compete with world 200m champion Shericka Jackson and 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce skipping the Games following last month’s World Championships in Eugene.

Thompson-Herah took 100m bronze behind her team-mates in Oregon and was the star name in Birmingham, with England’s Dina Asher-Smith out with a hamstring injury.

It meant Neita, who reached the Olympic final last year, was expected to be Thompson-Herah’s main rival and the British champion smashed her personal best to run 10.90 seconds in the semi-final.

But she could only run 11.07 seconds in the final following an awful start and also finished behind St Lucia’s Julien Alfred.

Ferdinand Omanyala
Ferdinand Omanyala won the men’s 100 metres final (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I let myself down. I will go back, watch it with my coach, analyse it, get told off, beat myself up,” said Neita.

“It shows my pick up is phenomenal but I can’t afford to run 10.90 in the semi and then 11.07 in the final. It’s not good enough.

“It’s frustrating because I was capable of winning it and I really let myself down. I’m racing one of the fastest women of all time, the competition was high but I could have done better.

“One thing about me is I’m able to turn every single negative thing into a positive. I’ll use this building up for the next thing.”

In the men’s race, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala took the title in 10.02 seconds ahead of defending champion Akani Simbine.

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon claimed bronze while England’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake suffered an apparent hamstring injury and finished last.

Omanyala shook off the disappointment of last month where he suffered visa issues ahead of the World Championships and only arrived in America hours before his 100m heat, before being knocked out in the semi-final.

“I came here with the sole aim of winning the gold and in the final it was a case of controlling the race from the start,” he said.

“Once I got a good start I knew I would win the gold. When I crossed the line I felt like jumping for joy.”

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan took gold in the 10,000m in a Games record of 30 minutes 48.60 seconds, echoing mum Liz who won the race in 1986 and 1990.

Eilish McColgan
Eilish McColgan followed in her mother Liz’s footsteps (Mike Egerton/PA)

It was her first major title as she beat Kenya’s Irene Cheptai following a race-long duel.

She said: “It has been such an up-and-down year. But I knew the fitness was somewhere in me. Having my family here and the crowd here. It was vibrating through my whole body. I just wanted it so bad.

“I knew the Kenyans were super strong and would put in bursts. But you can see in that last 100m I wanted gold. It is an absolute dream. It is so special to have it here in the UK.

“These are my fourth Commonwealths and I have come sixth every time. I was ready to win the medal.”

Earlier in the morning session, Matt Hudson-Smith breezed through the first round of the 400m at the Alexander Stadium.

The Wolverhampton-born athlete claimed bronze at the World Championships in Eugene last month and won his heat in 46.26 seconds.

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