GLASGOW (Reuters) - Stephanie McPherson needed the heart of a lion and every ounce of effort to lead a Jamaican clean sweep of the medals in the women's 400 metres at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
With England’s Olympic silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu opting to run only in the 4x400 relay, and very little separating the trio of McPherson, Novlene Williams-Mills and Christine Day in qualifying, the stage was set for the Jamaicans to battle it out amongst themselves for the honours.
Botswana's Amantle Montsho, who took gold in New Delhi four years ago, burst out of the blocks but was reeled in by the Jamaicans and on the home straight McPherson powered her way through to finish in a time of 50.67 seconds.
Williams-Mills claimed silver in 50.86 seconds and Day snatched bronze ahead of Montsho in 51.09.
“I came out here with a lion heart,” an exhausted McPherson told reporters. “I had a race plan and what my coach told me to do. My coach said, ‘You don’t need to fight, just relax and swing your arms’ and I did just that.
“The three of us came out here with the intention of coming one, two, three and we did just that.”
Jamaica also enjoyed success in the women’s triple jump, Kimberly Williams conquering the windy conditions on a chilly night at Hampden Park to win gold with 14.21 metres, while Andrew Riley won the men's 110 metres hurdles in 13.32 seconds to ensure Jamaica claimed three golds on the night.
Kenya dominated the women's 10,000 metres to take their own clean sweep of the medals in a slow final. Joyce Chepkirui made a late dash to sneak past Florence Kiplagat and finish in a personal best time of 32:09.35. Emily Chebet won the bronze.
"It was so close near the end but I knew my body was in good shape," Chepkirui said. "I was trying to push her (Kiplagat) in the last 200 as I know she can run a lot faster.
"I'm happy I could win at my first Commonwealth Games and I'm so, so happy it was Kenya for one, two and three."
Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon also won gold for Kenya when she triumphed in the women’s 1,500 metres in a time of 4:08.94 ahead of England's Laura Weightman and Canadian Kate Van Buskirk.
Canada also celebrated two golds thanks to Damien Warner, who won the men’s decathlon with 8,282 points, and Jim Steacy who threw 74.16 metres to win the men’s hammer event ahead of England’s Nicholas Miller and Scotland’s Mark Dry.
(Reporting by Michael Hann; Editing by Ken Ferris)