A third serious crash in as many days has marred the action at the velodrome with Indian cyclist Meenakshi Meenakshi run over by a rival after falling from her bike.
Meenakshi had to be carried out of the velodrome after the incident involving New Zealand’s Bryony Botha in the 10km scratch race.
Botha herself was flung to the boards head-first after hitting Meenakshi in the 20th lap of the race.
Meenakshi was seen clutching her ribs and required oxygen but was responsive while Botha was able to walk from the track with some assistance.
England’s Dame Laura Kenny won the race to the delight of the home crowd finally handing the host nation their first gold at the track.
It is the third incident to suspend the action at the track these Games with England’s Matt Walls and his bike flung into the crowd in the men’s scratch race heat on Sunday (local time).
Three cyclists were hospitalised as a result of the freak crash which also injured spectators.
Meanwhile, day one of the cycling saw Australia’s Matt Glaetzer’s campaign put in doubt after an incident involving him and Joe Truman which left the Englishman unconscious.
Might not be raining in Birmingham for the first time in a few days but it’s certainly raining gold for Australia. They’re coming in from every direction this morning with Tinka Easton causing a massive upset in the women’s 52kg.
Easton pulled it out the bag to beat Canada’s Kelly Deguchi.
Gobsmacked by what she had achieved, Easton said: “I was behind in the middle and going on to score and I just thought that I have to refocus and get back into it or I was going to let the match slide so I switched that on and it ended
“I was persistent, and I went to my game plan, it got a bit frantic in the middle so I went back to focusing on the game plan. (I was) Just talking myself through it, telling me what I have to do and hyping myself up.”
Incredible scenes in Lemington Spa where Ellen Ryan – the youngest member of Australia’s lawn bowls team – claimed gold in the women’s singles.
It was an impressive comeback against Guernsey’s Lucy Beere who had held a solid lead through much of the clash.
Ryan edged out Guernsey’s Lucy Beere, 21-17
UNLIKELY GOLD FOR AUSTRALIA
Australia’s cyclists have overcome massive adversity to take a one-two in the men’s 1000m time trial.
Matt Glaetzer sensationally won the gold and Tom Cornish took out silver despite being unable to use pursuit bars.
Australia’s medal chances looked to be in tatters when AusCycling announce prior to the final day of action at the Lee Valley velodrome that testing had shown that the pursuit bars were not safe for the sprinters in the kilo time trial.
A last second equipment controversy meant the duo had to use drop bars because of safety issues – a hindrance described as a “devastating blow” to their chances of getting a medal.
“Today was tough. I am surprised I went that fast to be honest. I felt terrible with two to go, but one last ride,” Glkaetzer said afterwards.
“I have been there before, coming back from disappointment so yes, incredible to show that no matter what happens, you can go again.
“It is not easy, for sure, it is challenging when you get knocked down but I was happy with how I rode yesterday. They just didn’t want me to have it.
“I am really happy I could finish off with a win. To take it out and smash it, to go on drops, we left a second out there, so happy. It was awesome. What a way to finish.”
Asked about the equipment drama, Glaetzer said: “To be honest, my goal was to go to sub 59, but when we lost the bars, it is like, I will just have to go sub one minute. Turns out, that is what got the job done.”
By Erin Smith
Australian weightlifter Sarah Cochrane has secured the silver medal in the women’s 64kg event.
It was a tight battle to the end but it was Cochrane’s amazing 100kg snatch PB which helped her on her way to the podium. She then backed it up with 116kg in her clean and jerk for a total of 216kg.
Tokyo Olympic champion, Canada’s Maude Charron clinched the gold and set a new Games record with a total of 231kg.
‘DEVASTATING BLOW’: ANOTHER AUSSIE CYCLING DISASTER
Matthew Glaetzer, Matthew Richardson and Tom Cornish won’t be able to use the pursuit bars in today’s men’s 1000m time trial.
Instead, they have been forced to use drop bars, in what was described by Australian cycling legend Scott McGrory as a “devastating blow” for their medal chances.
“It’s a major hindrance,’ McGrory said on Seven.
“The aerodynamic bars are so much faster.
“It’s a devastating blow for the Australians.”
In a statement, AusCycling executive general manager of performance Jesse Korf said the decision was made after testing revealed the riders would generate significantly more power than the bars could handle.
“We acknowledge that this decision has created a degree of disappointment, but the riders and the broader team understand that safety is our top priority,” Korf said.
“We have made significant changes to procedures, team structure and process since the Tokyo Olympics and this decision is reflective of a new and thorough approach to long-term engineering excellence, competitive success, and athlete welfare.”
It follows on from the handlebar controversy at the Tokyo Olympics.
Alex Porter was sent face first to the boards at 65km/h after his bars snapped.
A seven-month investigation found there were major failures in the testing process in the lead-up to the games.
Korf said the timing of the decision was driven by the need to fully test equipment for the specific demands of the 1000m time trial, and then investigate any possible alternatives.
The 1000m time trial is a non-Olympic event.
He said AusCycling would work with Argon 18, its track equipment partner, to investigate what he described as a bespoke handlebar set-up ahead of the World Championships in France in October.
AUSSIE GOLDEN GIRL MAKES IT A DOUBLE
By Eliza Barr
Australia’s newest golden girl Georgia Godwin has gone back to back with a gold medal on vault on a tie break.
Godwin and Canada’s Laurie Denommee both scored 13.233 after their two vaults in the women’s artistic gymnastics apparatus final- but with the single highest scoring vault, Godwin took the top spot.
Shannon Archer won Scotland’s first ever women’s artistic gymnastics medal at the Commonwealth Games by taking out third place.
FALL CRUELS AUSSIE GYMNAST’S MEDAL HOPE
By Eliza Barr
Rising teen sensation Jesse Moore was firmly in medal contention after an electrifying performance on the pommel horse until the devastating moment he fell – stealing away a crucial mark.
It was a case of déjà vu from the qualifiers, where Moore pulled off a performance that had even the English crowd entranced until he fell.
In the pommel horse final, Moore once again had a jaw-dropping routine which seemed to set him up for a medal until he fell at the final hurdle in preparing to dismount.
He scored 13.366 – and the extra mark he could have had without the stumble would have secured him the silver medal over Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan and Canada’s Jayson Rampersad.
AUSTRALIA ROBBED OF GOLD IN CRUEL GAMES TWIST
Australia had a weightlifting gold and a new Commonwealth Games record in their grip before a jury decision agonisingly snatched it away.
Western Sydney weightlifter Kyle Bruce would have ascended to the top of the podium if he had secured his final lift of 183kg in the men’s 81kg event on Monday.
He had the gold and the Games record physically in his hands – but in a cruel twist, the jury did not clear his clean and jerk, and the dream was over by the narrowest of margins.
Instead, England’s Chris Murray claimed the gold and the record by pulling off a lift of 2kg less.
Canada’s Nicolas Vachon made a valiant and aspirational attempt to overcome them both with his final lift of 187kg, but he could not secure it before the final buzzer and took out the bronze instead.
Athletes of every nation were quick to congratulate a jubilant Murray, unable to contain his tears as he took to the podium, while a crushed Bruce was consoled by his team.
In an emotional interview with Channel 7 after the event, Bruce said he drew quite literally from his late father’s strength in his efforts for golden glory.
“My dad actually passed away in 2015, and I just wear his compression shirt so he’s always there with me,” Bruce said, clearly overcome.
“He’s always with me and this one’s for him.”
By Erin Smith
Australia 74-49 South Africa
The Diamonds dominance continues bumping off South Africa, their first real test in the Games, but their smooth run could come to an end with key midcourter Paige Hadley limping off part way through the game.
Hadley was the only player to not take the court in the Diamonds’ opening game and played just 14 minutes in the win over Scotland.
The centre started the match against South Africa last night strong, which Australia won 74-49, and appeared to be moving very well.
Early in the second quarter, with the Aussies securing a strong lead, Hadly limped off the court clutching her calf and was swiftly ushered over to the physio bench.
She didn’t receive any treatment on court.
With the travelling training partners, which included midcourter Jamie-Lee Price, sent home prior to the tournament starting, as per the rules, Diamonds could be down to just 11 players, including vice captain Steph Wood who is also under management for a knee injury, for the remainder of the Games- severely impacting their midfield rotation ahead of the pointy end of the competition.
Earlier in the week coach Stacey Marinkovich had confirmed Hadley was carrying a “niggling leg injury” but it was more a matter of just managing her load.
Questions remain over whether Hadley sustained the injury in camp, prior to the training partners being sent home, with Netball Australia remaining tight-lipped on the situation.
Hadley emerged from the change rooms after the start of the second half, which Diamonds went into with a 40-24 lead, with ice strapped to her calf.
Kate Moloney came off the bench to play centre for the injured Hadley, Sunday Aryang replaced Jo Weston at GD and Steph Wood made way for Kiera Austin in the shooting circle.
News from Erin Smith who is watching the Diamonds against South Africa
Diamonds centre Paige Hadley has limped off the court clutching her calf and was hustled straight to the physio bench early in the second quarter.
The centre has been under an injury cloud being the only play not to take the court in the first game and playing just 14 minutes in the second game.
Diamonds were leading South Africa 35-19.
Kyle Chalmers has withdrawn from the 100m butterfly the morning after his huge 100m freestyle semi final swim.
Chalmers was due to swim in the heats on Monday morning (local time), but decided to pull out of the event, most likely due to the 100m freestyle final which he is due to swim during the evening session.
“He is conserving his energy, focusing on his 100m freestyle that he will swim later tonight,” Cate Campbell said of the decision.
“It’s not unexpected. It’s what I would do in his position. He’s obviously had a really big couple of days. And he really needs to focus on where it counts, and he said he’s done the butterfly for a bit of fun but he’s now here to focus.”
Chalmers finished second in the event at the Australian Swimming Championships in May and having decided to initially not swim the event at the world titles, he later changed his mind.
Chalmers delivered a blistering 47.36 seconds in the freestyle semi finals and will start red hot favourite for the final. His time would have won the gold at the world championships.
The 2016 Olympic champion says has not won a major individual 100m freestyle event since the Rio Games and after a tumultuous week in Birmingham is determined to make his mark.
Chalmers has been caught up in a battle with the media who he has accused of “making up stories” regarding friction within the Australian team.
Cody Simpson looked cool calm and collected after securing his place in the 100m butterfly final in just his second individual race back.
“I was quite calm. I knew I had to get through the next round, tick the box off, try to swim it as comfortably as I could without spending too much for tonight,” Simpson said.
“Quite happy with it.”
Asked how he is handling his emotions with girlfriend Emma McKeon smashing records, winning golds and competing in back-to-back events, Simpson added: “I was watching back at the village her 50 free, it was hard because I was trying not to get excited because I had to keep something in the tank for my morning.
“It is hard, you want to stay focused but you want to be absolutely supportive of her too.
“I feel like every time I look over, she is racing. She has a harder job than I do but she is handling it handling it awesome.”
SWIM LEGEND WEIGHS IN ON ‘LOVE TRIANGLE’ SAGA
Australian swimming legend Grant Hackett has weighed in on the Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson saga saying the trio are at their wits end.
Hackett revealed that the three athletes have sat down privately to discuss the matter and believes it’s time the story was put to bed.
“They’re professionals, they’re teammates, they get along with each other, they respect each other where they need to, and they go out there and they execute performances for the country and they support one another,” he said.
“You’ve already got the pressure of performance from the whole country – there’s a huge amount of expectation when it comes to the Australian swim team, particularly when it comes to the Commonwealth Games.
“We always have that first week, and we always dominate usually, but that does come with a lot of pressure in terms of that performance.
“So this continually gets out there really distracts from some of the great performances.
“This was a story that was back at the Commonwealth Games trials a couple of months ago, and the three of them put it to bed.
“Kyle’s come out very openly and said, this is a bunch of rubbish.
“No one had any problems. They couldn’t believe the fuss around it.”
TABLE TENNIS: Jian Fang Lay, Yangzi Liu and Minhyung Jee have won bronze beating Wales 11-7, 12-10, 11-4.
Particular shout out to Jian Fang Lay who now becomes a six-time Comm Games athlete with eight minor medals to her name.
The medal puts Australian table tennis back on the podium for the first time since 2014.
7:45AM ‘BANGED UP’: CYCLIST SHARES UPDATE AFTER FREAK CRASH
English track cyclist Matt Walls has posted an update to his fans after miraculously avoiding serious injury in a horror crash at the velodrome.
Walls and his bike were flung into the crowd at the velodrome injuring himself and spectators.
More than 12 hours after the freak accident, the 25-year-old posted a message of thanks with an update on his condition.
“Thank you everyone for the messages and support!
“I’ve somehow come away with no serious injuries just a few stitches and pretty banged up.
“I really hope everyone else involved is OK including the spectators that may have been injured.”
Two other riders were treated for injuries as were two members of the public who were taken from the scene ‘covered in blood’.
7:09AM HE WAS ROBBED
Australian cycling star Matthew Glaetzer was robbed of a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in a decision labelled a “travesty”.
Glaetzer, who was made to sweat for over an hour while officials reviewed footage, had his bronze medal taken off him in a decision widely condemned by the cycling community.
The lengthy review deemed Glaetzer impeded Scotland’s Jack Carlin during the bronze medal sprint, a ruling which was slammed by Aussie cycling royalty Kathy Bates.
Bates, commentating for Channel 7, called the officials’ decision “a poor interpretation”.
“I don’t agree,” Bates said. “If they are going to be that picky they need every camera angle and they sure need a super zoom.
“I’m having nothing of it. The any time limit contact is when Jack Carlin swung back up the track and even fact touched Matt Glaetzer. If anyone got impeded it was Matt Glaetzer. But the judges, you have to respect their decision. I’m not sure I respect this one to be honest.
“I want to because I think rules are rules but I think this is a pretty crappy decision. I’m devastated for Matt Glaetzer. I don’t see how the Australians will accept this and not feel robbed. This is an absolute travesty in my mind. I don’t even think Jack Carlin will be pleased at that turnaround. You want to win fair and square, and that is the most ridiculous relegation I have ever seen.
“I’m very devastated for Matt Glaetzer. And I think it is a poor interpretation.”
Footage showed a distraught Glaetzer when the verdict was announced, while teammate Matthew Richardson celebrated his gold medal.
“You can see it in his face. This decision has just broken him, it is not fair in my estimation,” Bates said.
“He doesn’t have a right of appeal. It is probably why the decision has taken so long because they were deliberating it, and certainly Australians were arguing as hard as they could and fighting the case for Matt Glaetzer.
“This is just absolute heartbreak for him. The look on his face, guys, there have been a lot of tears tonight at the velodrome for happy reasons and now sad ones.
“I won’t give my opinion. But I think what everyone in Australia is thinking right now and I think the same as that man on our screens. We are absolutely devastated having the bronze medal taken of him after the superhuman efforts of the last couple of days. Totally devastated.”
6:03PM FIVE ATHS STARS TO WATCH
Athletics starts at the Commonwealth Games today. Here is who to keep an eye out for — including an Aussie star.
WOMEN Kelsey-Lee Barber (AUS) – Javelin
The 30-year-old seemed set fair to finally land a Commonwealth Games gold — having taken bronze and silver in the last two editions — after she retained her world title.
The Olympic bronze medallist, though, contracted Covid-19 shortly after her world triumph but the team insisted she would make it to Birmingham.
Barber can take heart that her compatriot Jessica Stenson finally won the marathon title on Saturday despite having Covid less than a month before the Games
Keely Hodgkinson (ENG) – 800m
The 20-year-old should be the hottest of favourites to be crowned Commonwealth Games champion. She took silver in last year’s Olympics behind Athing Mu and then lost out by the barest of margins (0.08sec) to the American in the world final.
That defeat left her bristling.
“I’m definitely a little bit annoyed,” she said. “I have a lot of respect for her but I’m obviously gutted. I came here to win the gold and it didn’t happen.” After her silver in Tokyo, Hodgkinson, who has put studying for a criminology degree on hold, was rewarded by a sponsor with a spin in an Aston Martin.
She felt that her Eugene performance did not merit a repeat but gold in Birmingham should be good enough for a second outing.
MEN Ferdinand Omanyala (KEN) – 100m
The African 100 metres champion could gain compensation at the Games after his world title challenge was shattered by only obtaining a visa to enter the United States at the last minute.
The 26-year-old bowed out in the semi-finals but said he had no regrets and was looking forward to competing in Birmingham.
“The challenge of life is intended to make you better, not bitter,” he tweeted. “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems. No matter how much falls on us, we keep moving.”
Jake Wightman (SCO) — 1500m One of the surprises of the world championships when he took gold in a race being commentated on in the stadium by his father and coach Geoff.
The 28-year-old became Britain’s first 1500m world champion since Steve Cram in 1983 and is keen to use it as a springboard for Commonwealth gold and then the European 800m crown in Munich later this month.
“It’s crazy. The time frame between coming back from the worlds and then going into the Commonwealths,” he said.
“It’ll be tough to kind of get myself back up, which is why I need to let myself chill out for a few days to get ready for the tough rounds again and get back into that championship environment.”
Emmanuel Korir (KEN) – 400m
The 27-year-old is the undoubted king of the 800m having added world gold to his Olympic crown.
Eyebrows may be raised as to why he would not attempt to make it a triple of 800m titles in Birmingham.
However, he is extremely confident in his abilities at 400m. He said after the world final that he knew he would win as with a slow first lap he was the best 400m runner in the field.
A further aid to his hopes is he is pretty fresh having only started his season at the end of June.
MUM’S BOOZY 6AM CELEBRATION
On the Gold Coast, in the early hours of Monday morning, a bottle of champagne was popped and passed around – punctuated by some swear words – to signify the arrival of a new sporting superpower.
As sisters Maddison and Teagan Levi stepped forward to accept their Commonwealth Gold, mum Richelle was uncorking the bubbly and getting ready for a big day of celebrating.
Her daughters had helped Australia to an upset semi-final win over New Zealand, and then a trouncing of Fiji in the final to secure gold.
It was a revival of the team’s 2016 Olympic triumph and ushered in a new era of Sevens superstars.
But before all of that? There was a euphoric celebration in the southern hemisphere that may not only have woken up a decent chunk of Queensland’s east coast, but also would’ve made mother Mary blush.
“Mum had a bottle of champagne ready at 6 in the morning — she was ready to celebrate and I think she’ll be on it all day celebrating,” a jubilant Maddison Levi said after Australia’s historic maiden Sevens gold medal win over Fiji.
“I don’t know if I can say it on camera (what mum said) but they were definitely happy.
There were tears of joy. It was a pretty emotional rollercoaster …. they’ve been with us through the highs and lows and to have two kids standing on that podium is pretty awesome.
“They definitely had tears. But lots of swearing, I can confirm.”
Maddison might have undersold the party going back home.
Richelle told Channel 7 later in the morning she was already two bottles of champagne down before 9am.
“Two bottles of champagne already done,” she said.
She was joined by at least one supporter wearing pyjamas for a live cross on Channel 7 as the party raged into the morning.
Maddison and sister Teagan are the new face of women’s rugby in Australia, following the path trodden by teammates Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Williams, and earlier Ellia Green and Emilee Cherry.
Powerful, pacy, skilful. There’s a reason they’re among the most in-demand female athletes in the country – with AFLW and NRLW clubs lining up to steal them from rugby union.
“We got to stand next to each other, so it was pretty sentimental. We’ve achieved a Commonwealth Games medal, not many people can do that in their lives let alone have their sister side-by-side,” Maddison said.
But judging by smiles that lit up Coventry Arena stadium on Sunday night, the Levi clan is comfortable in rugby union right now.
“When I first started I aspired to be like Charlotte Caslick and the likes of Ellia Green and now that I’m in this role I’d love to inspire the younger generation because I think it’s such a great sport,” Maddison explained.
“The opportunities you get you can’t get with most sports. And to have younger girls look up to me and hopefully one day be standing side-by-side with girls you call your sister and be celebrating this moment is pretty monumental.”
Originally published as Commonwealth Games Day 4: Latest news, schedule, results from Birmingham