GLASGOW, August 2, 2014: Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce headline two Jamaican quartets bidding for victories in the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays on Saturday as 33 golds are up for grabs at the Commonwealth Games. Bolt made a highly-anticipated return to the track in anchoring his team through the heat, Fraser-Pryce doing the same for a strong women’s foursome also including multiple world and Olympic medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart.
“I’m happy to be part of the relay team and be one country and be part of the Commonwealth,” said Bolt. There are also finals in the men and women’s 4x400m relay races, England able to call on Christine Ohuruogu, the current world 400m champion and former Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist.
Other finals include the women’s pole vault and 5,000m, and the men’s triple jump and javelin. The latter promises to be a humdinger of a contest between Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott, who threw a national record of 85.28m in qualifying, and Kenyan Julius Yego, who threw 82.83.
On the penultimate day of the Games, there are 13 gold medals to be decided in boxing with Indian fighters chasing four titles. Devendro Laishram takes on defending champion Paddy Barnes of Northern Ireland in the lightweight final while Mandeep Jangra faces England’s Scott Fitzgerald in the welterweight gold medal match.
World championship bronze medallist Vijender Vijender will battle it out with Antony Fowler for middleweight gold while Laishram Devi and Australia’s Shelley Watts clash in the women’s lightweight final. Nicola Adams will attempt to add the Commonwealth title to her Olympic gold when she faces Michaela Walsh in the women’s flyweight gold-medal.
Compatriot Savannah Marshall contests the women’s middleweight final against Canada’s Ariane Fortin. In the women’s hockey final, Australia, having won three of the last four Commonwealth Games golds, tackle England who have never won the title.
Australia have scored 32 goals and conceded just one at the Glasgow tournament and boast the top scorer in Jodie Kenny who has nine goals. Australia also face England in the men’s semi-finals and will be overwhelming favourites having won every hockey gold medal since the sport was introduced in 1998.
The Aussies have reached the semi-finals by scoring 22 goals and conceding just three. India meet New Zealand in the other semi-final but will be without captain Sardar Singh who has been suspended for a dangerous slide tackle in his last match against South Africa.
India lost 8-0 to Australia in the final at Delhi in 2010 to claim silver. In the netball semi-finals, champions New Zealand take on England while Australia tackle Jamaica. The Silver Fearns of New Zealand missed their injured star attackers Maria Tutaia and Cathrine Latu as they beat Saint Lucia and Jamaica in the preliminary round.
Back-up shooters Jodi Brown and Ellen Halfpenny have struggled with their accuracy so the Kiwis will be desperate to have Tutaia and Latu fit to play. Australia and New Zealand have won every netball gold medal since the sport joined the Commonwealth Games in 1998 so England will be desperate to cause an upset.
England pushed world champions Australia to a 49-48 loss in the preliminary rounds. Jamaica boast 1.98m goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and 1.96m attacker Romelda Aiken. In squash, India’s Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa face English top seeds Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro for gold in women’s doubles. Table tennis also ends with three golds to be decided in men’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.