Glasgow: While you were sleeping - Day 1

By Kris Shannon in Glasgow

Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins celebrate their Commonwealth Record during qualifying. Photo / Greg Bowker
Ethan Mitchell and Eddie Dawkins celebrate their Commonwealth Record during qualifying. Photo / Greg Bowker

A quick bite of the best of the action from day one at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

A golden start

The Kiwi sprint cyclists came into these games with the burden of expectation, considering they won gold at February's world champs in Colombia and were strong favourites to do likewise here.

But they showed two things on the first day of the Games: that expectation was entirely justified, and it didn't bother them a jot.

Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins blitzed through qualifying, broke the Commonwealth record in the semifinal and repeated the dose a race later, crushing England to claim this country's first gold of these Games.

Medal table
Kiwis in action - day one

But the account was already open

The men's pursuit team had that honour half an hour earlier, though their medal came with mixed emotions.

The team talked up their chances of challenging world champions Australia for the gold, saying the return of Sir Bradley Wiggins to bolster the English ranks didn't scare them.

But they were unable to back up the talk, finishing more than five seconds behind their best time in losing to England, before claiming a comfortable bronze over Canada.

Marc Ryan, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Shane Archbold celebrate their bronze medal. Photo / Greg Bowker

Australia would likely have been too strong, anyway, considering the manner in which they eased to victory over England in the final.

Surprise bronze
Darcina-Rose Manuel won New Zealand's third medal and second bronze on day one but she did it the hard way after losing her first bout.

Manuel defeated Canadian Jessica Klimkait in their bronze medal fight in the women's under-57 kilo division. The 21-year-old bounced back from her opening defeat with three straight wins to claim a medal.

The Triathletes were luckless

Andrea Hewitt crosses the finish line. Photo / Greg Bowker

On a scorching hot afternoon at Strathclyde Park, half an hour from Glasgow, our triathletes were unable to feature as the first medals of the 20th Games were decided.

In truth, only Andrea Hewitt was a serious prospect, but she battled to fourth place in the women's race. Nicky Samuels' appeal to gain selection resulted in a 10th-place finish, while Kate McIlroy was never in the running.

The New Zealand men impressed on the bike but it was never going to be enough to break a Brownlee brothers 1-2, with Tony Dodds' 10th the best the Kiwis could muster.

No more Mo

Mo Farah. Photo / AP

While the Brownlees lived up to their reputation and Wiggins won a silver on his return to the track, another of England's big names was forced to withdraw from the Games.

Mo Farah, a double champion and star of the London Olympics, made the difficult decision to pull out of next week's 5000m and 10,000m due to sickness.

Farah had been struggling with abdominal problems in the lead-up to the Games and his withdawal robs Glasgow of one of its brightest stars. (It could help Nick Willis' chances in the 5000m, though.)

Strong start for Boyle

Like namesake Susan at yesterday's opening ceremony, Lauren Boyle came out firing at the start of the swimming programme.

Boyle, who won three bronze medals at last year's world championships, finished fourth in the 200m freestyle final. A decent effort considering she is generally considered a much stronger medal prospect in the 400m and 800m freestyle later in the meet.

It was New Zealand's second fourth in the pool, with the relay quartet of Samantha Lucie-Smith, Laura Quilter, Samantha Lee, and Ellen Quirke also just falling short of a medal.

- NZ Herald

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