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SWEEP: Kaliese breaks medal drought, 200m trifecta pushes medal tally to 18

Published:Friday | August 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rasheed Dwyer (centre) led a Jamaican sweep of the medals in the men's 200 metres final at the Commonwealth Games yesterday. Dwyer won in 20.14 seconds from Warren Weir (left), 20.26, and Jason Livermore, 20.32.
Kaliese Spencer (right), gold medallist in the women's 400 metres hurdles, and bronze medal winner Janieve Russell celebrate at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. Spencer won the event in 54.01 seconds, with Russell third in 55.64. Scotland's Eilidh Child was second in 55.02.
Jason Morgan is a happy man after winning a bronze medal in the men's discus yesterday.
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André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

GLASGOW, Scotland:

Usain Bolt should make his first appearance today here as Kaliese Spencer broke an eight-year medal drought and Rasheed Dwyer led Jamaica's latest medal sweep yesterday, adding two more shiny gold medals to the island's 2014 Commonwealth Games tally.

Double world-record-holder Bolt is expected to feature for Jamaica in the men's 4x100m relay heats after announcing at a press conference last week that he will run in the qualification rounds of the event.

In yesterday's men's 200m final, Olympic and World Championships medallist Warren Weir could not match Dwyer on the day, as he took the silver medal, with Jason Livermore ensuring that, like it was at the London Olympic Games two years ago, it was a Jamaica-only men's 200m medal ceremony inside Hampden Park last night.

Janieve Russell and Jason Morgan added two bronze medals as the island's medal haul rose to 18 (7 gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze) with the promise of more on the horizon.

In testing conditions, Dwyer ran 20.14 seconds to hold off a determined Weir (20.26), with Livermore running strongly in the last 30m to post 20.32 and secure the island's second medal sweep at these championships after the women's 400m domination.

"Words cannot explain what I feel right now. I'm happy, elated to be Commonwealth Games champion, and this is an important stepping stone in my career," Dwyer beamed, laughing uncontrollably after his victory.

WILL REMAIN HUMBLE

"This means a lot to me. I know it's going to be a stepping stone to my career. I'm not going to put any doubt on myself or any pressure. I will continue to remain humble and focused and compete to the best of my ability at the highest level," he added.

Weir, who took the bronze the last time three Jamaicans won the 200m at a major championships, was losing for the second time to Dwyer this season, and while he was happy for his countrymen, he admitted that he was disappointed not to have won this time around.

"It was a good race. The conditions were not very good, but I can't complain. Silver medal at the Commonwealth, I'm disappointed, but every disappointment is a lesson," Weir said. "I know that I am not where I want to be. I will just go back to the drawing board and whether the season continues or not, I will look at it as a lesson and move on."

Added Weir: "It's always good to be dominating, and to do the one-two-three on UK (United Kingdom) soil again is great."

Livermore dedicated his medal to his coach, Michael Clarke, who was taken to hospital for an unspecified reason.

Spencer had not won an individual gold medal at a major championships since winning gold at the 2006 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, and after three fourth-place finishes at the Olympics and World Championships. She was relieved to cross the line in first place in the women's 400m hurdles in a time of 54.10.

Spencer won ahead of Eilidh Child from Scotland (55.02) and her MVP Track Club training partner, Janieve Russell (55.64).

THREE FOUL THROWS

Morgan had three foul throws, but it was his second attempt that proved most valuable, as his 62.34m mark gave him bronze behind India's Vikas Shive Gowda (63.64m) and Cyprus' Apostolos Parellis (63.32m). Chad Wright was sixth with 60.33m.

There were no medals for Jamaica in the women's 200m final, with Anneisha McLaughlin (22.68), Schillonie Calvert (22.94), and Samantha Henry-Robinson (23.24) finishing fifth, sixth, and eighth in the final that was won by Nigerian star Blessing Okagbare in 22.25.

Okagbare, who also won the 100m title, finished ahead of the English pair of Jodie Williams (22.50) and Bianca Williams (22.58).

Natoya Goule (2:04.23) finished fifth in her 800m semi-final, making no further progress, while there was disaster for Annsert Whyte in the men's 400m hurdles, as he crashed into a hurdle at the top of the 100m stretch and did not finish after being in medal contention.

Kellion Knibb (56.64m) and Danniel Thomas (54.32m) are both through to today's women's discus final at 6:15 p.m.

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com