BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah rocketed to a sprint double at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday (Aug 6) as Australia pulled clear of England at the top of the medals table.

The Jamaican sprint star, 30, was the headline act on the penultimate night of track and field competition in Birmingham and did not disappoint the capacity crowd, destroying the field to win the women’s 200m in a Games record of 22.02sec.

Thompson-Herah topped the podium at last year’s Tokyo Olympics in both the 100m and 200m, retaining the titles she had won in Rio four years earlier.

But she only took bronze in the 100m behind compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson at last month’s world championships and finished seventh in the 200m final.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m earlier in the Games, faced a tough task on paper in the 200m final despite the absence of her Jamaican rivals.

But she finished nearly half a second ahead of Nigeria’s Favour Ofili, with Namibia’s Olympic silver medallist Christine Mboma taking bronze.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards won the men’s 200m in a Games record time of 19.80sec.

World bronze medallist Mary Moraa produced an astonishing late burst to come out on top in a high-class women’s 800m field, timing 1min 57.07sec.

The Kenyan faded after a quick start but found a second wind to pip England’s Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson to gold. Scotland’s Laura Muir won bronze – her first Commonwealth medal.

“I tried to run 57 or 58 seconds for the first 400 but I think I was 56-something (56.8),” said Moraa.

“When I reached the 500m, I think everybody went past me.

“But with 200 to go, I closed the gap and then I knew I had to push myself right until the end.”

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo outbattled Kenyan pair Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Jacob Krop down the home straight to win the 5,000m in a season’s best time of 13min 8.08sec, completing a distance double in Birmingham after his earlier 10,000m win.

“It was a wonderful performance for me (at the Games),” he said.

“I have two (gold medals) and I’m so happy about it.”

Last modified: August 7, 2022