Flag Bearer Doyle Wins Third Consecutive Silver

April 12, 2018

Opening Ceremony flag bearer Eilidh Doyle got her chance to parade around the Carrara Stadium with a saltire once again tonight, after picking up her third consecutive Commonwealth Games 400m Hurdles silver medal.

Having handled the pressure of a home Games to deliver silver four years ago, Doyle faced the toughest Commonwealth field of her career, featuring a number of Olympic and World finalists. To the fore coming into the home straight was Janieve Russell and she duly took gold, with Doyle finishing well for second.

The epitome of consistency, Doyle ran a typically measured race, coming off the bend in third before powering home over the final two hurdles to secure a third straight silver in 54.80.

Afterwards the proud Scot said: “I am thrilled to be on the podium for the third time at my third Commonwealth Games. It was definitely the strongest field I have faced in the Commonwealths in terms of the quality of athletes and I was a bit anxious, but I just had to tell myself on the start-line to stay focused and not think about anything other than executing my race-plan.

“I’ve been lucky to win a number of medals in my career and they mean a lot to me – I will treasure them for the rest of my life. There won’t be too much celebrating of this one at the moment though, because we have the 4 x 400m Relay still to come. We will go back to the Village, enjoy it and reflect on it, and then on Friday I will turn my thoughts to coming back to this stadium. The atmosphere was great and I could hear so many Scottish voices.”

It was a case of so close yet so far for middle-distance man Jake Wightman who finished an agonising fourth in the Men’s 800m Final, just outside his personal best with a 1.45.82 run. After looking good in qualifying, Wightman knew he could be in the mix for the medals if he ran the right race, and that was exactly how it played out.

Sitting off the fast early pace Wightman picked up down the back-straight on the final lap, putting himself in the perfect position to contest for silverware down the home-straight. Passing pre-race favourite Nijel Amos with 60m to go, for a split second Wightman thought he done it, but was pipped in the final 20m by charging Australian Luke Matthews to end up in the worst position of all.

“It’s pretty gutting. I thought I’d timed it perfectly for a medal and I don’t think I did a lot wrong – you never come into a champs wanting to finish fourth. The positives I can take from it though will be that it’ll set me up well for the 1500m, but I knew there was an opportunity to win a medal there, so to have it slip in the way in last 20 metres is a horrible, horrible feeling.”

Holly McArthur made her Commonwealth Games debut in the Women’s Heptathlon, the 18-year-old setting personal bests in two of the four events on the opening day. Kicking things off with a very solid 14.17 run in the 100m Hurdles, McArthur then set a 5cm High Jump personal best with a brilliant 1.69m clearance, before producing another lifetime best of 11.58m in the Shot Put. After her monumental efforts the youngster from Kilsyth was understandably tired in the 200m, fading slightly in the final 50m but still running a strong 25.50 time to leave her on 3270 points overnight in tenth.

There was however huge disappointment for Lynsey Sharp, the Glasgow 2014 silver medallist failing to advance to the Women’s 800m final after finishing fourth in the third and final heat. In a good position all the way, Sharp didn’t quite have the finishing speed needed to bag a top two position and a place in the final, crossing the line in 2.01.33.

Post-race she commented: “I executed my race as was my plan and it just wasn’t good enough today. Some days you just don’t have enough to get it done and this was one of those days. Competition in the 800 is fierce and I faced many great competitors today. Training has been going really well but I have a few more things to work on to put it all together.”

Tomorrow will see McArthur back in action for day two on the Women’s Heptathlon, with Wightman and Chris O’Hare going in the Men’s 1500m Heats at 11:35hrs (02:35hrs UK time).

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