Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scotland's Miley wins medley gold

Hannah Miley
Miley came through the field and hung on for 400m IM gold

Hannah Miley became the first Scottish woman to win gold in the Delhi pool on the final day of the Commonwealth meet.

Miley, 21, held off Samantha Hamill of Australia to win the women's 400m individual medley title.

"It was a great race and finishing on such a high is a great way to end the year," Miley told BBC Sport.

England's Keri-Anne Payne swam to bronze in the same event, while Michael Jamieson won men's 200m breaststroke silver for Scotland.

As expected, Australia's women cruised to 4x100m medley relay gold ahead of England.

England's Stephanie Millward earned silver in the Para S9 100m fly, again denied gold by world champion Natalie du Toit, and her team-mate Robert Welbourn came third in his Para S10 100m freestyle final.

Michael Jamieson

Jamieson wins silver for Scotland

Ellen Gandy overcame illness to take bronze for England in the women's 200m butterfly, and Daniel Fogg added a bronze to the English tally in the men's 1,500m freestyle.

But gold medals had eluded the home nations until Miley hauled her way through the women's 400m IM field, winning her first Commonwealth title in a Games record time of four minutes 38.83 seconds.

"That hurt so much - I was hoping it would be a lot faster for the amount of pain I went through," said Miley, who won gold by a margin of 0.62 seconds.

"But it wasn't so much about the time, it was more about the race.

"I'm still gaining experience leading up to London 2012."

I've felt part of a bigger team here, which is wonderful. I felt so important, so good

Stephanie Millward

Payne, more commonly an open-water swimmer, expressed her delight at earning bronze for England behind Miley.

"I'm so pleased with that swim, it's the first time I've succeeded in medley swimming," she said.

"It's such a good feeling to know this year hasn't been a complete write-off in terms of performance."

Payne's team-mates Aimee Willmott and Stephanie Proud finished fifth and sixth respectively, with Northern Ireland's Sycerika McMahon eighth.

Earlier, Jamieson had missed out on men's 200m breaststroke gold by a whisker behind Australia's Brenton Rickard.

The flagging Rickard won gold in a time of 2:10.89 as Jamieson ran out of pool in which to catch him.

"It's my first major medal and I'm sure in half an hour I'll be delighted," said Jamieson, 22.

"Right now, I'm pretty gutted with that. I thought the race was going to be a lot quicker.

"But I've learnt so much this week about how to cope with all sorts of circumstances. Two personal bests, two finals and a medal - I really can't complain."

England's Andrew Willis missed out on bronze by five hundredths of a second behind Australia's Christian Sprenger.

Gilchrist eventually finished fifth, behind Willis, with Wales' Rob Holderness sixth.

I was sick this morning, I'm not sure what I had but I rested and drank loads of water

Ellen Gandy

Du Toit, in her final Commonwealth appearance, won her third gold medal of the Games in the women's Para S9 100m butterfly final, with Millward earning silver behind the South African.

"Two silvers and a bronze is very, very good," said Millward, 29.

"We had to do the World Championships in Eindhoven about a month ago, then get back into training, then taper again for this, so anything was good here because of the double taper.

"I've felt part of a bigger team here, which is wonderful. I felt so important, so good."

Canada's Benoit Huot won the men's Para S10 100m freestyle gold in a time of 53.70 seconds, with Welbourn losing the battle for silver by just six hundredths of a second to Australia's Andrew Pasterfield. Northern Ireland's Laurence McGivern came fifth.

"It's what I wanted coming here so to go home with it, I'm quite happy," said Welbourn.

400m free: R Adlington (Eng)
800m free: R Adlington (Eng)
50m fly: F Halsall (Eng)
400m IM: H Miley (Sco)
200m free: R Renwick (Sco)
50m back: L Tancock (Eng)
100m back: L Tancock (Eng)
200m back: J Goddard (Eng)
200m IM: J Goddard (Eng)

"When you pick up a medal like that you start to realise why you do it, it's all made worthwhile."

The women's 200m butterfly was won by Australia's Jessicah Schipper, racing for the first time in Delhi on the sixth and final day of competition.

Schipper set a time of 2:07.04 to take gold from Canada's Audrey Lacroix, with Gandy, the latest home nations swimmer to fall victim to illness, coming back to clinch third place with an excellent finish.

"I was sick this morning, I'm not sure what I had but I rested and drank loads of water," said the 19-year-old, who won 100m butterfly silver earlier in the week.

"I found it really hard to break into the senior meets and hadn't made a senior final until this year, so to come away with three medals at two international meets this year [she won 200m fly bronze at the European Championships in August] is just great."

Wales' Jemma Lowe came fifth, with England's Jessica Dickons - a late addition to the Delhi squad - seventh.

Canada's Ryan Cochrane won the men's 1,500m freestyle final in 15:01.49, but England's Fogg earned a surprise bronze medal, coming in behind South Africa's Heerden Herman but beating another South African, Mark Randall, to post a time of 15:13.50.

"I had a bit of a slow start so I had to work hard at the back end, I was putting everything in to try to overtake one person, then another," said Fogg, 23.

"I didn't have any expectation of a medal here so to come away with bronze is amazing."

Wales' David Davies finished fifth, with Richard Charlesworth eighth for England.

"I'm nowhere near as fit as I should be," said Davies.

"You come here, give the best you can and hope you can pull something out of the bag on the day, but you've got to be at the top of your game."

In Saturday's opening final, the men's 50m freestyle, England's Simon Burnett was beaten into fourth place as Canada's Brent Hayden won his second gold of the week in a Games record of 22.01, ahead of South African duo Roland Schoeman and Gideon Louw.

Burnett finished just outside the medals in 22.44, 0.22 seconds behind Louw, while team-mate Adam Brown tied with under-par Australian sprinter Eamon Sullivan in sixth place.

"This has been a strange, up-and-down year for me, I've been toying with the idea of retiring," said Burnett.

"But this has given me a second wind and hopefully I can carry it on until 2012."

The two medley relays rounded off the day and the entire swimming programme, and Alicia Coutts led the Australian women to a comfortable victory - her fifth gold of the Games - with England just over three seconds back.

The Welsh women set a national record of 4:05.88 to come fourth, with Scotland fifth and Northern Ireland sixth.

There had been complaints on Saturday that the Delhi pool had acquired a murky complexion not seen earlier in the week.

Michael Scott, British Swimming's performance director, said an official explanation had been requested prior to the afternoon session.

Stephanie Millward and South Africa's Natalie du Toit.

Millward takes butterfly silver

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