GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Nijel Amos of Botswana turned the tables on Olympic champion David Rudisha to win the 800-meter gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on a cool, rainy Thursday night at Hampden Park.
Amos, who finished second to Rudisha at the 2012 London Games, cut outside with about 30 meters to go and swept past the world record holder from Kenya, who finished second, .30 seconds behind. Amos’ training partner, Andre Olivier of South Africa, took the bronze.
”To me, he will always be a hero,” Amos said, patting Rudisha on the back.
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Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria won the 200 to complete the 100-200 sprint double, and Rasheed Dwyer led a medal sweep for Jamaica in the men’s 200.
”It wasn’t really favorable weather,” Okagbare said. ”But two gold medals, that’s something to celebrate.”
Sally Pearson, the 2012 Olympic champion from Australia, qualified fastest for Friday’s 100 hurdles final despite having to deal with some off-track drama. Eric Hollingsworth, head coach of the athletics team, was ordered to return home as punishment for releasing an unauthorized statement criticizing Pearson for not attending a pre-Glasgow training camp.
Pearson easily won her heat – the second of three – then waved to the crowd and smiled at a group of Australian supporters in the stadium.
”I switched off from all the negativity,” Pearson said. ”I’ve sort of forced myself not to go there, and I’ve put myself into this head space that I know is positive.”
Shiva Gowda won the men’s discus, ending India’s 56-year gold medal drought in men’s athletics at the games. The last and previously only male Indian to claim a gold medal in athletics was Milkha Singh in the 440-yard race at the Cardiff Games in 1958.
Elsewhere around the games:
TIME TRIAL STARS: Alex Dowsett used the disappointment of missing the Tour de France as motivation to win a gold medal in the time trial on the streets of Glasgow. The Tour began in England and went through his home county of Essex. But an untimely bout of bronchitis meant Dowsett could not ride for his Movistar team. ”I fought like I’ve never fought before,” the English cyclist said. ”No one wanted that more than me today. It was bitter disappointment not being selected for the Tour de France. I spent the whole month fairly angry, not at anyone in particular, just angry at the situation.” Denmark-born New Zealander Linda Villumsen won the women’s race, ending a five-year run of silvers and bronzes in major events.
GUARDS REMOVED: Three security guards were removed from duties after reports they took selfies with Usain Bolt. The security company issued a statement saying the staff were removed from the games’ training facilities after breaching conditions of their employment. The three are still employed by the company but are working elsewhere.
DIVING IN EDINBURGH: Ooi Tze Liang of Malaysia won the men’s 3-meter springboard from 1-meter champ Jack Laugher of England, who botched his fifth dive. Meaghan Benfeito of Canada took gold in the women’s 10-meter platform, her final dive overtaking defending champ Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia.
HOCKEY SEMIS SET: Unbeaten Australia plays England and New Zealand takes on India in the men’s field hockey semifinals Saturday. The medal finals are Sunday. South Africa plays Canada for fifth place.
GYMNASTICS GOLD: Max Whitlock of England won the men’s artistic gymnastics floor final, becoming the first man at the games to win three golds, having taken the individual all-round title and a team event. Scott Morgan of Canada won the men’s rings, Claudia Fragapane of England the vault, and her teammate Rebecca Downie took gold on the uneven bars.
COMING UP: On Friday, Usain Bolt and Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team attempt to qualify for the final on Saturday. It’s Bolt’s only race in Glasgow, and it will be interesting to see the reaction he gets from the crowd after he made reported disparaging remarks about the city and the games to a newspaper reporter.