Sports

Aussies spear gold and step out of the shadows

For Starc it was the moment to step out of the shadow of his more famous brother Mitchell, Australia's opening bowler.

“One hundred per cent yes (it's good to step out of his shadow). I am not putting anything on Mitchell what he has done is incredible but to kind of put my name out there now is a good feeling, yeah," he said.

These were not lucky wins, they had thrown and jumped bigger than ever before to get here and to win.

It began with Mitchell who has not done this before. Previously big championships have been the place where promise meets disappointment.

Kathryn Mitchell.

Photo: AAP

Not this time. Mitchell had been throwing big in the lead up, setting a new national record this year, but doing it in front of no-one in Ringwood and doing it in front of cameras and the full Carrara stadium are two different things.

Mitchell had finished sixth, fifth and fourth at the last three Commonwealth Games. This time it was different.

Mitchell threw 68.92m with her first throw and set a new Commonwealth record. She celebrated with the relief of a woman who has known what it is to wait.

Her next two throws were busts but she then hurled out another teaser before hurling out a third legal throw that was just short of her first at 68.14m, to prove her record breaking throw was no fluke.

Australia's Kathryn Mitchell.

Photo: AAP

"It was pretty f—in' awesome let's be honest. What can I say obviously you hope for this type of result," Mitchell said.

Predictably her keenest competition came from Roberts who claimed silver to Mitchell's gold when she waited until her last throw to elevate herself into the silver medal when she threw 63.89 to win from South African veteran champion Sunette Viljoen.

Rising star Riley Day ran an impressively gutsy race to narrowly miss the final when she finished fourth in her semi final behind England's Bianca Williams who took third behind champions Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Elaine Thompson.

"Its a punch in the guts it really is. It wasnt meant to be but she beat me by that amount last time we raced and I thought maybe I could get her," Day said.

"Its my second fastest time ever. I am extremely gutted not to be in the final but maybe next time. So close but so far at the same time.

"One hundredths of a second its a frickin kicker. I am young but I still want to do well no matter what."

This was clearly the best field the teenager had run against – putting aside her run against Usain Bolt – in her short career. To put it in perspective she is 18 and was hundredths of a second from taking a place in arguably the most credentialed final of any event in the Commonwealth Games – across any sport.

Elaine Thompson is the biggest star at the Commonwealth Games: she won the 100m and 200m at the Rio Olympics. But she was beaten here in the semi final by Miller-Uibo. Miller-Uibo is the 400m gold medallist from Rio – remember her diving across the line to beat Allyson Felix? – and won silver and bronze at the last two world championships in the 400m and 200m. Miller-Uibo looked the better of them in the semi.

Anneliese Rubie ran a solid race in the final of the 400m but could not hang on against a high quality field. She ran 52.03s to finish seventh behind gold medallist Botswana's Amantle Montsho in 50.15s.

In the women's long jump Brooke Stratton jumped 6.74m in the first attempt and went through to the final on Thursday night.

Isis Holt also won gold in the T35100m.

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Michael Gleeson

Michael Gleeson is a senior AFL football writer and Fairfax Media's athletics writer. He also covers tennis, cricket and other sports. He won the AFL Players Association Grant Hattam Trophy for excellence in journalism for the second time in 2014 and was a finalist in the 2014 Quill Awards for best sports feature writer. He was also a finalist in the 2014 Australian Sports Commission awards for his work on Boots for Kids. He is a winner of the AFL Media Association award for best news reporter and a two-time winner of Cricket Victorias cricket writer of the year award. Michael has covered multiple Olympics, Commonwealth Games and world championships and 15 seasons of AFL, He has also written seven books – five sports books and two true crime books.

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