Athletics preview - 30 July
30 July 2002
Field events take pride of place on Tuesday’s athletics programme, with medals being decided in the men’s pole vault and long jump and women’s discus and high jump.
Tomlinson will be leaping for long jump gold
The long jump could be a three-way battle between the youth of England’s Chris Tomlinson and the experience of the Cayman Islands’ Kareem Streete-Thomspon and Jamaica’s James Beckford.
Tomlinson, who broke Lynn Davies’ long-standing British record earlier in the season with a leap of 8.27m, heads the Commonwealth rankings. The 20-year-old, from Middlesbrough, will be going for his first international medal.
The pole vault is set to be another highlight of the programme. Australians Viktor Chistiakov, Paul Burgess and world champion Dmitri Markov will be aiming for a clean sweep of the medals.
South Africa’s six-metre vaulter Okkert Britts should prove the strongest challenge to the Australians’ dominance, while England Nick Buckfield, returning from injury, could threaten if he competes at his best.
Defending champion Beatrice Faumuina of New Zealand is a clear favourite in the discus. Having thrown 65.05m this year, the 1997 world champion leads her closest rival by over three metres.
High jumper Hestrie Cloete is another strong contender to defend her title. The African record holder became the first South African woman to win a world title when she jumped 2.00m to take gold last year.
In the chase for the minor medals, England’s Susan Jones, who equalled the British record of 1.95m in 2001, and Canada’s Nicole Forrester and Maresa Cadienhead should figure highly.
Wales’ Colin Jackson having progressed comfortably through his heat will be looking to complete a hat-trick of Commonwealth 110m hurdles titles.
Jackson, fastest in the Commonwealth this year with a time of 13.15, will face competition from 1998 bronze medallist Shaun Bownes of South Africa and defending champion Tony Jarrett of England.
Medals will also be decided in the women’s 10,000m. Names to look out for include Australia’s Goodwill Games bronze medallist Susie Power and Susan Chepkemei of Kenya.
England’s Kelly Holmes begins her quest for gold in the 1,500m. A silver medallist in 1998, Holmes is scheduled to compete against the athlete who beat her to the title, Jackline Maranga Kenya.
In the men’s event Kenya’s William Chirchir, fourth in the 2001 World Championships, starts as favourite.
The heats of the Men’s EAD 100m and Women’s EAD 800m wheelchair competition also get underway, with the latter featuring nine-time Paralympic gold medallists Tanni Grey-Thompson of Wales and Louise Sauvage representing Australia. This is the first time that EAD events have been included in the Commonwealth Games.
Info News Service/mi/sb/jdc