CWG 2018: Punia, Dhillon win silver and bronze in discus throw

Punia was a bit and farther behind Australian Dani Stevens, who had pushed the Indian to the second place in Glasgow 2014 as well.

Seema Punia, who was competing in her final CWG, was, though, well below her best.   -  AP

Seema Punia returns home with her fourth successive Commonwealth Games medal as she and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon opened India’s account in the athletic events at the Carrara stadium here on Thursday.

The 34-year-old, settled in Meerut, was far behind Australian Dani Stevens, who had pushed the Indian to second place in Glasgow 2014. And then, she failed to touch her season’s best of 61.05m achieved at the Federation Cup in Patiala in early March.

Yet, her first effort of 60.41m was good enough for the silver behind Stevens, who touched a Games record of 68.26m in the fourth round. Seema has now won the silver thrice — 2006 Melbourne being her first before finishing with a bronze in New 2010.

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Navjeet looked out of sorts initially but the 2014 World junior medallist came good in the sixth round to get to a distance of 57.43m and to deny New Zealand’s Sositina Hakeai, a place on the podium.

This is the fifth straight time an Indian has won a medal in this discipline, with Seema getting four after Neelam Jaswant Singh won the first in Manchester 2002.

In the long jump, the Indian presence was hardly felt as V. Neena and Nayana James fared badly.

The winner of the discipline was spotted almost straightaway with Christabel Nettey virtually killing the rest of the field with an opening leap of 6.84m.

Brooke Stratton took silver with a final effort of 6.77, leaving behind England’s Shara Proctor third with 6.75m.

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A high flying finish helped Shaunae Miller-Ubio to present Bahamas with its first gold at the Games, winning the women’s 200m with a meet record time of 22.09s.

Miller-Ubio was behind coming into the straight but was a clear winner as she packed off the rest with her long strides.

Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) finished second with a personal best of 22.18s while England’s Dina Aster Smith took her first international medal with 22.19s.

In the 400m hurdles, Janieve Russell (Jamaica), coming up with a strong 100m and a solid finish, bagged gold in 54.33s ahead of Eilidh Doyle (Scotland) and Wendal Nel (South Africa), the early leader.

It was the third successive silver for the Scottish athlete who finished in 54.80s while the South African completed it in 54.96s.

In heptathlon, which got underway this morning, India’s Purnima Hembram was sixth after four events with 3441 points.

The day was not without controversy as England’s Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for jostling and obstruction after he had come first in the men’s 200m. Eventually the gold went to Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards who clocked 20.12s, the silver to Aaron Brown (Canada) in 20.34s while Leon Reid (Northern Ireland) got bronze in 20.55s.

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Kenya’s dominance in 800m continued as Wycliffe Kinyamal came through the slow two-lapper in 1:45.11, five-hundredths of a second ahead of England’s Kyle Langford. Luke Mathews (Austalia) claimed bronze in1:45.60.

The British Virgin Islands, too, had a lot to cheer as Kyron McMaster took the 400m hurdles gold in 48.25s. Jeffrey Gibson (Bahamas) finished second in 49.10 and Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde the bronze in 49.16s.

The pole vault gold went to Australian Kurtis Marschall who cleared 5.70m as against 5.65m touched by Shawnacy Barber (Canada). England’s third place winner, Luke Cutts was a long way behind at 5.45m.

In triple jump qualification, Aprinder Singh and A.V. Rakesh Babu got through to the final but with distances far below their personal or season best.