Comm Games live: Clareburt stuns with gold, Black Ferns lose semi

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 Jul 2022, 9:09am

Comm Games live: Clareburt stuns with gold, Black Ferns lose semi

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 Jul 2022, 9:09am

Clareburt fastest qualifier for final

Kiwi swimmer Lewis Clareburt has qualified fastest for the 400m individual medley final.

Clareburt led all the way to cruise to victory in his heat, with his time of 4:17:72 the fastest in his heat by nearly two seconds, and seeing him qualify top for the final, 0.6 seconds ahead of Australian Brendon Smith.

The final is scheduled for 7.49am.

Earlier, Vanessa Ouwehand qualified 14th fastest for the women's 100m backstroke semifinals while Cameron Gray missed the 200m freestyle final, finishing 20th in the heats.

Black Ferns Sevens into semis

The Black Ferns Sevens have stormed into the semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games with an impressive 38-7 thumping of England.

With England needing a win to advance to the semis, the hosts were no match for the defending champions, with the Kiwis running out to a 21-7 lead at half-time and adding three more tries in the second half to qualify top from their pool and set up a semifinal showdown with Australia.

Michaela Blyde bagged two more tries to continue her fast start to the tournament, with Sarah Hirini, Shiray Kaka, Risi Pouri-Lane and Jazmin Felix-Hotham all also dotting down.

Their semi-final against Australia kicks off at 6.42am, with Fiji meeting Canada in the other semi-final.

The All Blacks sevens joined their female counterparts in the knockout rounds, securing their quarter-final spot with a 20-0 win over England.

The Kiwis led 5-0 at half-time thanks to a Joe Webber try right before the break, before a second from Caleb Tangitau and a double from Che Clark secured the victory that featured an impressive defensive display.

The victory saw them qualify atop their pool, securing a quarter-final against Kenya at 8.10am.

Three medals incoming for Kiwi cyclists

New Zealand is guaranteed gold and silver on the track – the only thing left to decide is which Kiwi takes top spot on the podium.

Aaron Gate and Tom Sexton will face off in the gold medal final of the men's 4000m individual pursuit, with Sexton having set a Commonwealth Games record, only for Gate to beat it 20 minutes later to qualify top, 1.56 seconds ahead of Sexton who claimed second in what will be an all-Kiwi final.

The pair already have a bronze medal in their collection, after being part of the team pursuit squad that finished third yesterday.

Also on her way to a second medal in 24 hours is Bryony Botha.

Less than 24 hours after winning silver as a member of the women's team pursuit, Botha is now favourite to win gold in the 3000m individual pursuit.

Botha set a Games record in qualifying, with her time of 3:19:836 blasting her way into the gold final, with a healthy advantage over Australian Maeve Plouffe, who will take on Botha in the final but recorded a time 2.159 seconds slower than the Kiwi.

Botha's individual pursuit final is at 3.37am, with Gate and Sexton facing off at 4.34am.

In the women's sprint, Ellesse Andrews advanced to the semi-finals, beating third seed Lauriane Genest in a tight quarter-final.

Andrews, who qualified as the sixth seed, lost the first of three races but stormed back to win the final two, including a decisive victory in the decider.

Genest had earlier knocked out fellow Kiwi Olivia King in the last 16. Rebecca Petch made it three Kiwis in the last 16 but was bounced out by top seed Kelsey Mitchell.

Andrews will take on Sophie Capewell in the semifinals at 3.28am.

Squash stars cruise

Kiwi squash stars Joelle King and Paul Coll have made light work of their opening matches.

King beat Leungo Katse of Botswana 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 while Coll took down Niall Engerer of Malta 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 as both eased into the round of 16.