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All smiles as Laugher retains diving title
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 11 - 04 - 2018

GOLD COAST, Australia, April 11, 2018 - England's Jack Laugher gave a dominant performance to defend his Commonwealth Games one-metre springboard title on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
Earlier, Esther Qin and Georgia Sheehan snatched the women's three-metre synchro gold after a fellow Aussie pair crashed from first place to last with a botched final dive.
The 23-year-old Rio Olympic silver medallist on the three-metre board, led from wire-to-wire throughout the six rounds to tally 438.00 points and win gold with some ease.
Australia's James Connor took silver with 412.45 points.
Scotland's James Heatly finished with bronze on 399.25 points to become his country's first Commonwealth diving medallist since his late grandfather Peter Heatly won gold at the 1958 Cardiff Games.
"It was difficult to come here as the defending champion," said Laugher.
"I really knuckled down, got focused -- everything went fantastically and I am very proud of what I did."
Laugher's top-scoring dives were 76.50 for an inward 2-1/2 somersaults and his lead-off back 2-1/2 somersaults dive which netted 75.00 from the judges.
"It was a really good score, I was 440, almost a PB but I didn't quite hit anything, everything was really good, the tops were fantastic and I felt really good going out there," Laugher said.
"But my entries were a little bit shaky. I put that down to a little bit of nerves, trying to defend the title, also being outdoors, all those different pressures, but I'm really happy with my overall performance."
Laugher will bid for a second gold medal in the 3m springboard on Thursday.
"Three metres is my main board and I'm a little bit nervous for it, my first international competition of the year because of the injuries I've had," he said.
"But I've got high hopes, training's been good, I'm really enjoying the pool, the place and the team village."
It is Laugher's third Commonwealth Games title since his debut at the age of 15 when he competed in Delhi in 2010.
Laugher went on to win two gold medals and a silver at Glasgow 2014 before joining forces with Chris Mears to win Britain's first-ever Olympic diving gold medal in Rio where they won the three-metre synchro competition.
Qin and Sheehan, meanwhile jumped from fourth to clinch gold after leaders Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith bombed out with a disastrous attempt at a forward 2-1/2 somersaults with two twists that dropped them to last.
A tearful Keeney, who lost control of her dive in windy conditions at the outdoor pool, put a brave face on the mishap.
"It was all over the shop," said the one-metre world champion.
"Obviously I don't think anyone can say they dived well, but we've come out the other end. It was a tough day."
Semenya glides to 1500m gold
Caster Semenya smashed Zola Budd's long-standing South African 1 500 metres record at the Commonwealth Games late on Tuesday.
Semenya made her move on the last lap, overtaking Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech on the final bend and accelerating away to win in 4min 0.71sec.
The 27-year-old's victory by more than two seconds sliced 1.1sec off Budd's 1984 South African record and earned Semenya her first Commonwealth medal, to go with her swathe of Olympic and world titles over 800m.
It was a victorious moment for Semenya, who called for assistance for an exhausted rival lying on the track before setting off for a lap of honour wrapped in the national flag.
"I want everyone to know that South African athletes are here to stay. I'm proud to be a South African. We are a great nation and we want to display that to the world," she said.
But Semenya has long endured scrutiny over her hyperandrogenism and this week, Australian 800m runner Brittany McGowan raised familiar concerns.
"It's a tough one. It's tough for a lot of women in the 800m, 400m and 1 500m at the moment to compare ourselves and be judged by our governing bodies on those times," McGowan reportedly said.
Semenya's emphatic win comes with her future again clouded after the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the IAAF's hyperandrogenism regulations, which now look set to be changed.
However, she is now eyeing the world record in the 800m, in which she will be hot favourite when the heats start on Thursday.
Semenya's appearance raises new questions at the Games, whose first transgender athlete, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, dramatically injured herself mid-competition on Monday and later said her career may be over.
Nigeria lift to a clean sweep
It was a big day for Nigeria at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre, dominating the Para Powerlifting competition with a gold medal win in all four disciplines.
Roland Ezuruike claimed the gold in the men's lightweight final with 224.3 points, fellow Nigerian Paul Kehinde secured silver and England's Ali Jawad picked up the bronze.
Esther Oyema won gold in the women's lightweight final with a world record score of 141.6 lift at the Carrara Indoors Sports Centre. Compatriot Lucy Ejike secured silver with 134.1 points and England's Zoe Newson claimed bronze with 106.1 points.
Ndidi Nwosu secured gold in the women's heavyweight final with her score of 110.4. Louise Sugden of England took silver with 89.2 points. No bronze medal was awarded in the event due to there only being four competitors.
Abdulazeez Ibrahim rounded out his nation's gold overhaul in the event winning the heavyweight final with 191.9 points. Malaysia's Yee Khie Jong took home silver with 188.7 points and India's Sachin Chaudhary claimed bronze with 181.0.
Malaysia Squash the Kiwi's
Malaysia's number nine seeds Rachel Arnold and Sivasangari Subramaniam have upset top seeds New Zealand's Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy with a win in the women's doubles Squash competition.
Too good for the current World Champions, Malaysia finished with a 2-0 in their opening Pool A match at Oxenford Studios.
King was backing up after her 78-minute 3-2 singles gold medal win over England's Sarah-Jane Perry the night before.
The top two teams from each pool progress to the knockout stage. New Zealand's next match is against Australia's Number eight seeds Sarah Cardwell and Christine Nunn.


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