GLASGOW: Kemar Bailey-Cole made up for the absence of Jamaican team-mate Usain Bolt by winning gold in the men’s 100m at the Commonwealth Games on Monday night, although there was no Caribbean delight in the women’s sprint.
Bolt, a six-time Olympic medallist and double sprint world record holder, did not race in his country’s national championships which doubled as trials for the Games in Glasgow, and will only compete in the 4x100m relay.
Bailey-Cole did not disappoint, clocking, as he had done in the semi-final, 10.00sec in a close men’s race, England’s Adam Gemili claiming silver in 10.10sec, with another Jamaican, Nickel Ashmeade, taking bronze (10.12).
But there was no double Jamaican joy as Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare produced a scintillating run to claim gold in the women’s 100m in a new Games record of 10.85sec.
“It means a lot because it’s my first individual medal at a championship. It’s just the start of the individual medals,” Bailey-Cole said.
“The aim was to come out here and win and I did just that. I said to myself ‘these guys can’t beat me’.”
For Okagbare, her victory was one step on her path to a Commonwealth treble as she also competes in the 200m and 4x100m relay. She might even have competed in the long jump were qualification for both, and finals, on the same days.
The 25-year-old Nigerian, who won long jump silver and 200m bronze at the 2013 world championships, got off to a quick start in the women’s 100m and maintained her form throughout to clock a Games record of 10.85sec.
Jamaican duo Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart took silver and bronze at Hampden Park in 11.03 and 11.07sec respectively.
“Execution and patience was key, I knew my time would come,” said Okagbare. “I’m happy I was able to put on a show. I executed it and stayed patient like my coach said I should and after 70 metres it just felt easy!
“Is it possible that I could be going for a treble gold (100, 200m and relay)? I would say yes.”
In the field, Canada’s Sultana Frizell threw a Games record of 71.97m to comprehensively defend her hammer throw title, Julia Ratcliffe of New Zealand taking silver (69.96) and England Sophie Hitchon bronze (68.72).
New Zealand’s Jacko Gill failed to translate his amazing youth and junior form into a first senior title in the men’s shot put, finishing 11th (18.05m) in a competition won by Jamaican O’Dayne Richards in 21.61m, also a Games record.
Gill’s team-mate Tom Walsh took silver (21.19) and Canada’s Tim Nedow bronze (20.59).
Canadian Damian Warner predictably took the overnight lead in the decathlon, finishing the first day of action on 4378 points, England’s John Lane in second.
The reigning world bronze medallist produced a blistering 10.29sec in the opening 100m of the two-day 10-discipline event, earning himself a massive 1,025 pts to kick off his campaign.
Warner leapt out to 7.50m in the long jump, managed bests of 14.04m in the shot put and 1.96m in the high jump, before clocking 47.78sec in the 400m.