Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Uganda's Kipsiro wins 5,000m gold

Mark Lewis-Francis

Lewis Francis plays down athletic track talk

Uganda's Moses Kipsiro won the first athletics gold medal of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, beating Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge in the 5,000m final.

Kipsiro, 24, beat 25-year-old Kipchoge by just seven hundredths of a second to win in 13 minutes, 31.25 seconds.

England's Chris Thompson, the European silver medallist, finished fifth to "cap off an awesome season".

His team-mate Mark Lewis-Francis posted a season's best 10.15 seconds as he won both his opening 100m heats in Delhi.

With Jamaican world record-holder Usain Bolt absent, European silver medallist Lewis-Francis won his first-round heat in a time which narrowly eclipsed his previous 2010 best of 10.16.

India is putting on a great show, man. I am enjoying my moment here

Mark Lewis-Francis

"It'd be nice to leave with a medal but it is early days," said Lewis-Francis. "It is really hot out here and I have never run in conditions like this.

"I will take it round by round and see how it goes. I turned 28 the other day so I am not taking life too seriously anymore, I am just going with the flow.

"I am very comfortable in the village and on the warm-up track. India is putting on a great show, man. I am enjoying my moment here."

After winning his second-round heat in a slightly slower 10.20, he added: "I'm enjoying my champs. To be performing like this in October, after a very long season, I'm over the moon."

Jamaica's Oshane Bailey qualified quickest for Thursday's semi-finals with a time of 10.12 seconds in his second-round heat.

Overnight work to resurface the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium's damaged running track, was pronounced a success by Games Federation president Mike Fennell early on Wednesday, allaying fears that athletics events could be delayed.

In the 5,000m, Kipsiro and Kipchoge produced a spectacular final lap which the former narrowly won, with Thompson coming home fifth in a time of 13:39.28.

Moses Kipsiro
Kipsiro, pictured in 2009, narrowly edged out Kipchoge

In the absence of European champion Mo Farah - who commentated on the race for BBC Radio 5 live - Thompson had been England's biggest hope.

"This is exciting for me, I've never done the Commonwealths before and I'm absolutely loving it," he told BBC Sport.

"I couldn't have felt more ready to go, I wanted to be with [the leaders] with a lap to go and see what happened and I was still fighting all the way to the death. That has capped off an awesome season for me."

Three English women - Montell Douglas, Katherine Endacott and Laura Turner - moved into the next round of the women's 100m, alongside Wales's Elaine O'Neill and Northern Ireland's Amy Foster.

"It's nice out there, the times aren't very quick but it's about getting through to Thursday," said Turner.

Endacott added: "I can't believe they put two English women in the same heat. I'm pleased though, it was just enough to qualify."

Scotland's Lee McConnell won her 400m heat in a time of 53.25 to advance, as did second-placed Nadine Okyere of England (53.75) and Northern Ireland's Joanna Mills (55.46).

England's Kelly Massey went through in a time of 53.90, scraping through her heat in fourth, while team-mate Victoria Barr similarly went through fourth from her heat in 53.86.

In the women's hammer qualifying, Carys Parry of Wales led the way with a throw of 63.53m and England's Zoe Durham threw 62.33m, taking both through from the first qualifying group.

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