Simbine stuns Blake in 100m

Kristopher Nichols
April 11, 2018

Usain Bolt joked that Blake may not be welcome home if he didn't win the title on the Gold Coast.

"I was stumbling all the way", the 28-year-old told reporters ruefully.

"I'm not anxious", said Blake of Bolt's likely disappointment, in what was the first major championship since the sprint legend called time on his career.

"This was my first final and to get onto the podium is just incredible for me". "I felt lacking in confidence, like silver wasn't good enough but I know I did the best race I could".

Simbine, who was fifth at the 2016 Olympics and at last year's world titles, won in 10.03 seconds, with Bruintjies second in 10.17. "Keep putting in the work. You know your journey", the sprint great said.

Simbine made history as the country's first ever 100m champion at the Commonwealth Games crossing the line in 10.03 seconds.

Earlier, bowls quartet Elma Davis‚ Esme Kruger‚ Nicolene Neal and Johanna Snyman won South Africa's second medal on the greens at the Games.

Blake, who qualified fastest in 10.06s, said: "I was supposed to win easily and I suppose I was too confident and maybe I over-thought it".

"I didn't focus on what they were all talking about".

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England's Adam Gemili, the 2014 Commonwealth silver-medallist who was second quickest into the final, withdrew before the race after picking up an injury in the semis.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling to come here for my country and be able to do this", he said.

Michelle-Lee Ahye won her first gold medal at a major worldwide meet, celebrating with an air punch as she crossed the finish line in 11.14 seconds and relegated Jamaicans Christania Williams (11.21) and Gayon Evans (11.22) to silver and bronze.

It was a better night for world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, who kicked off her bid for a Commonwealth double with a comfortable win in the 1,500m heats in four minutes and 05.86 seconds. The South Africa flag bearer raced within herself but still qualified fastest for Tuesday's final ahead of home runner Georgia Griffith (4:06.41) and Kenya's Mary Kuria.

Even with the absence of Wayde van Niekerk and reigning champion Kirani James, the men's 400m boasts quality and looks to be a battle between Botswana's flamboyant Isaac Makwala and Grenada's Rio Olympic finalist Bralon Taplin.

Ahye had always appeared the favourite after impressing through the rounds and was the only entrant to reach the final of last year's World Championships in London, where she placed sixth.

Simbine said: "I wasn't focused on him (Blake), I was focused on myself and making sure I got out fast and that I got to the 50m as quickly as I could".

New Zealand's world champion and world leader Tom Walsh fulfilled his billing as heavy shot-put favourite with a throw of 21.41m - a metre off his personal best - to claim the title while Uganda's Stella Chesang came through to win an open women's 10,000m final.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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