Sports

Commonwealth Games: Dennis takes time trial gold, diving and more – live!


Key events

In the men’s para lightweight powerlifting, Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin – paralympic champion, two-time world champion – is now the Commonwealth champion. He’s a real superstar and is surely going to dominate the sport for years to come. England’s Mark Swan is absolutely delighted to get the silver medal, and remarkably, there’s some confusion over who is given the bronze. Two Nigerian athletes, Innocent Nnamdi and Thomas Kure are tied on points. Some of the BBC commentary team think Kure should be awarded the bronze on account of him being the lighter man, but it looks like Nnamdi is going to get it as a result of his heavier lift of 190kg. Looks like a tough one to swallow for Kure.

Hello all! In the hockey, England scored with seven second left in the third quarter – Roper slingshotting it in from a short corner – and are 7-1 up. They need to win by 14 clear goals to avoid the dangerous Australians in the semi-final. Canada are down to 10 men as well, it’s not an impossible task!

I’m off for a short while but the esteemed Michael Butler is here to guide you through the action for the next hour or so. See thee soon!

Hockey: Make that ten more – a penalty corner sees England’s Nicholas Bandurak slam one into the top bin. That was Calum Giles esque. Remember him from Atlanta 1996?

This is pleasingly retro:

Hockey: Still 4-1 to England’s men in their match against Canada, they are into the third quarter so will have to go some to net 11 goals and manage to avoid the Aussies in the knockouts.

Lets start to look ahead to this evening where there will be diving finals, England will take on the Kiwis at cricket and netball and in the stadium there will be long jump finals from 7.45pm and then 110m hurdles at 9.45pm. Commonwealth Ambassador, you are spoiling us.

Weight lifting GOLD! (and Silver) for England

A 1-2 combo for England in the women’s lightweight powerlifting – Zoe Newson lifts a hefty 111kg to secure the gold and Olivia Broome takes silver.

Cricket: No such thing as a free lunch? Tell that to England’s Danni Wyatt:

To the lovely woman in Côte, Birmingham who wished me good luck in the CWG and picked up my bill without saying a word – thank you. There are some lovely people in this world and you are one of them ❤️ #actofkindness #PassItOn

— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) August 4, 2022

Wyatt and her England teammates will be in action against New Zealand at 6pm. They’ll be without captain Heather Knight unfortunately.

Hockey: A topsy turvy match as England take on Canada to decide who they’ll play in the semi finals. England are 4-1 up in the second quarter and need 11 more goals without conceding to avoid the Aussies.

Handbags at the hockey as Canada’s Balraj Panesar argues with David Goodfield of England.
There’s handbags at the hockey as Canada’s Balraj Panesar argues with David Goodfield of England. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Cycling: Talking to the BBC’s Jill Douglas, Gold medal winner Rohan Dennis of Australia is in reflective mood:

Really happy now that I’ve got a gold medal. It’s been a lot of hard work since Delhi and it has finally paid off to get on that top step. A lot of work done by my family as well with me being home for eight weeks straight and my wife ended up coming out on the bike with me.There’s a lot of people and friends to thank including – one guy (Alan Merchant) who really saved me with equipment this week. A bit of a mechanical stuff – let’s just put it down to that.”

Cycling: Geraint Thomas has been talking after an early crash saw him take bronze in the time trial. He’s phlegmatic as he reflects that he went into a corner “too hot” and caught the leg of the barrier, he nearly managed to stay on but fell to the tarmac and lost precious seconds. He has nice words for silver medallist, England’s Fred Wright too. Once a champ always a champ.

Beach volleyball: What a rally! On match point for the Scots an epic rally sees the one of the Solomon Isles pair, Gwali, do a half bicycle kick over the net! A great touch it has to be said, but all in vain. Scotland take the point and the match and face a long wait to see if they’ve done enough to make it through, they’ll have a beady eye on the rest of the group matches.

Hannah U’una,(centre) and Rose Gwali of Solomon Islands try to block a shot by Scotland’s Lynne Beattie.
Hannah U’una,(centre) and Rose Gwali of Solomon Islands try to block a shot by Scotland’s Lynne Beattie. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP

Hockey: India prospered over Wales this afternoon, a 4-1 victory that sees them into the semi-finals. England are there too and they are just underway in their final group game against Canada. If they win by an (unlikely?) 14 goals then they will top of pool B and avoid current CG champs – Australia. Better get scoring.

ICYMI: Here’s Sean Ingle on the epic scenes with Eilish last evening:

Beach volleyball: Scotland take on the Solomon Islands and have to win to stand a chance of going through. Beach volleyball first appeared in the CG’s four years ago at the Gold Coast. I’ve already got into trouble for saying the cycling was happening in the outskirts of Birmingham (profuse apologies to the people of Wolverhampton and Dudley) so am loathe to make any comments about beach volleyball in Birmingham… Also, the sun is out – it does look positively troppy. Scotland have taken the first set but the SET/SPIKE/DIG stuff is currently on hold for a timeout whilst Scotland’s Mel Coutts has her ankle strapped up.

Grey clouds loom ominously about the court as Melissa Coutts (#1) and Lynne Beattie (#2) of Scotland return a shot in their pool match against Hannah U’una and Rose Gwali of the Solomon Islands.
Grey clouds loom ominously about the court as Melissa Coutts (#1) and Lynne Beattie (#2) of Scotland return a shot in their pool match against Hannah U’una and Rose Gwali of the Solomon Islands. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Hazel Irvine, the incomparable, impeccable Hazel Irvine is helming the beeb’s coverage this afternoon. She does a seemless link into the beach volleyball coverage and I find myself humming this ditty as I run to put the kettle on. Enjoy:

“She does her research properly”

Boxing: The tv coverage heads over to the boxing ring, as if platform diving, terrifying hockey and high speed cycle crashes weren’t high octane enough on a Thursday afternoon. Men’s and women’s quarter final bouts in all weights take place this afternoon. I can already spy a cut eyebrow. Yeeesh. Aidan Walsh of Northern Ireland secures a slot in the semi-finals with a split decision win over England’s Harris Akbar in the light middleweight category.

Diving: Andrea Spendolini Sirieix plays it slightly safe with her third dive but she’s earned the right after two successful earlier dives at a higher difficulty rating. She pulls it off with seeming ease and then pulls off a more tricksy effort in the fourth round. She is way out in front of this field in the 10 metre platform. “A masterclass in diving” purrs the commentator. The final will be on in a few hours where Spendolini Sirieix is red hot favourite.

PS. Recognise the name? Yep her papa is Fred from First Dates.

England’s Andrea Spendolini Sirieix competes in the women’s diving 10m patform preliminary round.
England’s Andrea Spendolini Sirieix enters the water. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Cycling: Men’s time trial – Australia’s Rohan Dennis takes GOLD!

Green and GOLD! Great ride from Dennis who finished in 46 minutes 21.24 seconds. Geraint Thomas fought back admirably from that early fall and was pedal to the metal to the finish to try and snare silver but misses out by a few split seconds – England’s Fred Wright takes silver and Thomas will be a bit miffed to finish in third.

Rohan Dennis of Australia on his way to finishing 1st in the men’s individual time trial cycling race.
Rohan Dennis of Australia powers his way towards the finish line and a gold medal. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Australia’s gold medallist Rohan Dennis (centre) is seen alongside England’s silver medallist England’s Fred Wright (left) and bronze medallist Geraint Thomas of Wales as they take a breather before the medal ceremony.
Dennis (centre) is seen alongside England’s silver medallist England’s Fred Wright (left) and bronze medallist Geraint Thomas of Wales as they take a breather before the medal ceremony. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Hockey: I took my eye off the hockey with all the crashing and diving but can see that India have taken a 3-0 lead over Wales in the third quarter. I’m currently using my glasses case to hold my phone (top tip passed over from Daniel) which has the diving on, hockey on the laptop and cycling on the tv. It’s like a Dixons shop window at my gaff. The sound of hakuna matata wafts down the hall from the other end of the flat, my 16 month old daughter not getting in the Commonwealth spirit at the minute, wait till I grab that screen off her…

Cycling: Here is that Dan Bigham smash. Remarkable how he gets right back in the saddle.

Cycling: Another crash! Those of a nervous disposition look away now – Dan Bigham goes over his handlebars after a corner and crashes into the barriers. Thankfully he dusts himslef off and hops back on a replacement bike as if nothing had happened. Madness. My brother once went over his handlebars when we were kids… because my other (older) brother decided it would be funny to re-enact this:

Diving: Andrea Spendolini Sirieix executes another spectacular dive off the platform for her second round effort. She nails a compicated routing of 3.2 difficulty and is rewarded with a score of 73.60. I’ve got half an eye on it, but she already has the two highest scores I’ve seen doled out by the judges.

Some amazing photography here:

Further proof too, if any were needed, that hockey is dangerous.

What you’ve always wanted:

Cycling: Geraint Thomas is making time back in the time trial, he’s recovered well after that dramatic early fall, the camera is zooming in on his bike suggesting that there could be a bit of an issue as a result of the fall. Whatever it is it ain’t slowing him down. The footage cuts to Dan Bigham, currently third, and he’s absolutely flying down a picturesque country lane somehwere in Sedgley, the camera struggling to keep up with him as he zooms down a bumpy looking lane. This looks terrifying too.

Diving: The fantastically named Andrea Spendolini Sirieix is on the concrete platform for England and she executes a difficulty 3.0 dive extremely well, entering the water with very little splash. That’s the sort of high level analysis you can expect from here. She gets a 69.00 from the judges. Next up the Canadian Celina Jayne Toth – and she does over rotate slightly on entry after a complicated routine of backwards somersaults, the pronounced splash giving her away, she’s awarded 54.60. It all looks absolutely terrifying.

Cycling: Geraint Thomas is out of the traps and away! The 36 year old is resplendent in bright red… but HE’S FALLEN! The camera cuts away briefly and picks back up to see Thomas on the tarmac. He took a bend too quickly and crashed into the barrier, almost managing to cling on but not quite. That will have severely dented his medal hopes – about 30 seconds worth of a delay. He’s back in the saddle and away again but that was a dramatic and not especially ideal start for the welshman.

Geraint Thomas of Wales on his way to finishing 3rd in the men’s individual time trial cycling race.
Wales’ Geraint Thomas traverses a bridge. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Cycling : “Bright and benign conditions” the commentator says over lovely sunny scenes as the cyclists hurl around the outskirts of Birmingham… but two riders have come a cropper on the same bend already, the perils of going too hard too soon, apparently. The camera focuses on Geraint Thomas visualising in his space-age helmet in the traps. Thomas is, of course, a Tour de France winner and came third in this years race, he’s also got two Olympic Gold medals to his name. He’s on record as saying he fancies the time trial and it’s rigid parameters whereas in the road race anything can happen.

Hockey: Wales are currently taking on India in the Men’s hockey. It’s the first quarter and from what I can see the game is being played at a frenetic pace, both sides straining to break the 0-0 deadlock. And just as I’m thinking how scary it looks – the hard hockey ball being pinged around like a pinball – an Indian player takes one to the knuckles and has to be escorted from the pitch. Ouch.

Thanks Daniel, an elegant splash-free stint as per. Jim here, bellyflopping my way into the live blog.

First up I’m tuned into the Cycling – Geraint Thomas will be the last rider out of the traps in the Men’s time trial – just after 14:30pm.

The riders hit the road one after another – England’s Fred Wright currently leads Australia’s Lucas Plapp and Wales’ Owain Doull. Some enviable ‘ironing boards’ (calf muscles) on display.

And with that, I am done – though as I type that, a diver whose name escapes me totally loses track of where he is and clatters the surface via belly flop. We have all, I feel, sure, been there; ouch. Still, he wears it well, clambering out of the pool like he’s entered it with pike and zero splash; now here’s James Wallace to ease you through the rest of the day

Athletics: I couldn’t find the coverage, but the men’s decathlon shot is did. Australia’s Daniel Golubovic finished first with a PB of 15.60, but the bigger news is that Grenada’s Lindon Victor came second with 15.48. He was level at the top of the leaderboard with Cedric Dubler, but the Australian could only manage 12.83, so takes 162 points fewer.

Lindon Victor finishes second in the decathlon shot.
Lindon Victor finishes second in the decathlon shot. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Diving: Jack Laugher is eighth after three of six dives; Yona Knight-Wisdom of Jamaica leads, with James Heatly of Scotland the highest-placed Brit; he’s third.

We’re having a little quiet moment – we’ve got that diving going on, and some early-rounds badminton and squash, but the men’s cycling time trial will be away again in about seven minutes.

Diving: What I didn’t realise: there are only 11 competitors, so all of them will qualify for the final. This qualifying contest will just decide in what order they jump.

Cycling: We’re having a break, but get going again at 13.54:30 BST, so in just under 25 minutes from now.

Boxing: Dylan Eagleson is very happy with his performance, especially his head and foot movement, which he tells BBC were “top class”. His guaranteed bronze means NI now have 12 medals, as many as they brought home from Gold Coast in 2018.

Diving: Jack Laugher’s first attempt in the 1m springboard qualifying wasn’t one of his best, but his second gets him some 8.0s. For a medal, he’ll need 9s, but he’s improving,

Jack David Laugher in action on the 1m springboard.
Jack David Laugher in action on the 1m springboard. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

We didn’t miss this achievement, but it did kind of get lost in the McColgan furore. Nevertheless, for KJT to win gold here, after the year she’s had, says so much about her mental strength, physical resilience and barely believable dedication.

2X Commonwealth Champ
🥹🥰☺️🥹🙏🏽
This one means a lot. Thank you so much to everyone who has pulled me through this year to make this possible and end on such a high! 📈 pic.twitter.com/Pkt2tu8Z4p

— KJT (@JohnsonThompson) August 4, 2022

South Africa’s women’s team end their two-month tour in the UK with an emphatic 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka to finish the Commonwealth Games 3rd in their group. That ends an eight-match losing streak but still plenty to think about in the six months before the T20 WC. #cricket

— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) August 4, 2022

Cycling: Fred Wright catches Luke Plapp on the line, and he sets the fastest time so far. In comms, Chris Boardman reckons he’s got a decent chance of a medal, his time 46:47.52.

Boxing: Dylan Eagleson of Northern Ireland has guaranteed himself a bronze medal in the batamweight divison, outpointing Armando Sigauque of Mozambique.

Cycling: Plapp is back eating up road, but Wright still looks the best on the course. However, Geraint Thomas sets off at 14.29 BST, so whoever leads when will have plenty worrying ahead of them.

In the studio, they’ve just been laughing about how nails Denise Lewis is, and I can confirm I’ve been told that too. The way it was explained to me was that she not only won Olympic gold in the heptathlon, but did so before lottery money was involved, and that is something that would’ve been beyond even those with requisite sporting talent.

Cricket: Yup, South Africa have monstered Sri Lanka by 10 wickets – but neither will make the last four.

South Africa sneak past Sri Lanka by 10 wickets.
South Africa sneak past Sri Lanka by 10 wickets. Photograph: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Cycling: Eeesh, first Fred Wright takes nearly 10 seconds out of Plapp, then Plapp’s bike is jiggered and he has to grab a second. He’ll not be troubling the podium today.

Cricket: Chasing a mighty 47 to beat Sri Lanka, South Africa are 45-0 off eight.





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