Commonwealth Games: Dame Laura Kenny claims gold on huge day for Team England
Team England brought home golds in track cycling, weightlifting and bowls
Dame Laura Kenny delivered Commonwealth gold for England on the final day of track cycling in the Lee Valley VeloPark.
A late burst of speed saw Kenny overhaul Great Britain team-mate Neah Evans and then hold off New Zealand’s Michaela Drummond and Canada’s Maggie Coles-Lyster at the end of a crash-interrupted women’s scratch race.
Kenny had downplayed her form over the weekend, claiming to be the weakest link in England’s bronze-winning team pursuit squad before finishing a lowly 13th in Sunday’s points race, but found the pace needed to claim her first Commonwealth gold since Glasgow in 2014.
The 40-lap race was neutralised midway through after India’s Meenakshi Meenakshi collided with Ariane Bonhomme, sending the Canadian down before she was hit by a helpless Bryony Botha of New Zealand. Racing was stopped as Bonhomme was carried out on a stretcher.
After the action resumed, Kenny’s England team-mates Sophie Lewis and Grace Lister both tried attacks inside the final 10 laps.
But it was when Scotland’s Evans broke clear that Lewis provided a lead-out for Kenny and she finished it off over the final laps – roared home by the London crowd with decibel levels reminiscent of the London Olympics a decade ago.
And Dame Laura was not the only Briton bringing home a gold medal for England.
Jake Jarman stands on the brink of becoming the first English gymnast to claim four golds at the same Commonwealth Games after adding the floor apparatus title to his rapidly-increasing collection in Birmingham on Monday.
The 20-year-old could be joined in his potential quadruple haul by Joe Fraser, who continued to defy a fractured foot as he edged Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan to clinch the pommel horse title and his second gold of the Games.
Chris Murray won the men’s 81kg weightlifting final after Australia’s Kyle Bruce and Canadian Nicolas Vachon failed to overtake him in dramatic circumstances.
Murray led at the halfway point after completing a 144kg snatch, with Bruce, his, closest challenger, trying and failing twice to lift 147kg.
The flawless four-time British champion lifted 181kg in the clear and jerk and his new Games record of 325kg proved a winning total.
Bruce successfully completed a 180kg clean and jerk and initially got three green lights for his 183kg attempt, which would have put him into the gold medal position.
But it was ruled out by the jury because his left elbow was bent.
Vachon’s victory attempt was undone when he dropped the bar after appearing to make a successful lift.
Team England trio Louis Ridout, Nick Brett and Jamie Chestney claimed victory over Australia in the men’s triples gold medal bowls match at Victoria Park.
They took a convincing 12-1 lead in the tie after the ninth end as they looked to cruise to the top of the podium.
However, the Australian fightback was imminent and by the end of the 16th, Australia had remarkably drawn level to set up a grandstand finish.
But, against all momentum, England struck the front in the penultimate end before sealing victory with a point in the final end.