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Backley throws for gold

31†July†2002

Steve Backley wins his second Commonwealth gold medal with his first throw of the final.

Steve Backley

Backley gets wrapped up in English glory

33-year-old Backley went one better than the silver he took in Kuala Lumpur four years ago, with a winning margin of almost eight metres.

Canadaís Scott Russell took silver with a 78.98m throw, whilst Nick Nieland (78.98) took a gallant bronze.

Backley said afterwards: ďI hate coming in as the favourite. It puts so much pressure on you. But I knew that if I caught one right at the start it would be enough. It was nice and controlled. After that it was difficult to lift myself.Ē

The crowd provided nothing but a magnificent backdrop, as Backley rounded off a fantastic evening for English athletics.

Russell acknowledged the role of the spectators: ďItís difficult competing with Steve Backley because all you can hear is his name, with the crowd so much behind him. But Iím not disappointed. I knew I could get a medal.Ē

Backley had two more efforts, an 84.94m and a no throw, but the field was no match for the Olympic silver medallist.

Nieland stole the bronze with his final throw from Australianís Will Hamlyn-Harris (77.31) and Andrew Currey (76.91), sealing a great evening for the Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers.

Nieland said: ďIf someone had said beforehand that I would win bronze I would have been more than happy. Having said that, 79m would have got me silver and thatís something Iím capable enough. Itís well within my grasp.Ē

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