GOLD COAST, Australia – Barbados netballers suffered an agonising extra-time defeat to Scotland, as they lost for the fourth time to finish 10th at the Commonwealth Games today.
Scores were locked on 39 at full-time before the Scots out-scored the Bajan ladies in the additional period, to eke out a narrow 50-48 victory in the ninth/10th place playoff at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.
Barbados, having lost their last three preliminary round games, had a promising start when they rushed to a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, any hopes of taking that advantage into half-time were dashed as Scotland hit back strongly in the second quarter to leave Barbados with a two-point, 22-20 lead.
In the third quarter, Scotland erased Barbados’ lead by out-scoring them 11-9, to set up a thrilling last stanza.
The teams failed to be separated down the stretch, however, both managing eight goals to see a deadlock at the final whistle.
For Barbados, goal attack Nikita Payne shot 22 from 24 attempts while goal shooter Latonia Blackman chipped in with 15 from 17 and Shonica Wharton, 11 from 12.
The Scots, meanwhile, were led by Lynsey Gallagher who netted 35 goals from 37 attempts while goal shooter Bethan Goodwin supported with 13 from 21.
Barbados managed only a single win at the Games, beating Fiji in their second outing.
Meanwhile on the positive side for the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago claimed their first 200 metres Commonwealth Games medal in nearly half a century when Jereem Richards won gold, following the controversial disqualification of England’s Zharnel Hughes.
In a fractious climax to day five of the athletics programme at the Carrara Stadium, Richards was upgraded to first place after Hughes was penalised for impeding the Trinidadian in a tense finish.
Hughes, running out of lane five, led into the stretch but as he faded, Richards in lane four, produced a blistering late drive to draw level with 10 metres left.
With hands flailing wildly, there was contact across lanes just before both sprinters hit the line in the same time of 20.12 seconds, with Hughes out-leaning Richards to take the victory.
Trinidad and Tobago protested and Hughes was subsequently disqualified for obstruction, with officials deeming his arm had collided with Richards’s because of his proximity to the edge of his lane. The contact caused Richards to stumble and lose momentum at that key stage.
Hughes was still on his lap of honour when the news of his disqualification broke and England understandably protested the decision, further plunging the race into chaos.
Richards was then forced to sweat for nearly two hours before judges upheld the disqualification, giving the 24-year-old his first individual global title.
“He was ahead and when I started to catch him he started to break down and I felt his hand come across and hit me,” Richards confirmed afterwards.
“That’s probably why they disqualified him. If he didn’t hit me I would have gone past him. That hit threw me off my rhythm.”
T&T’s last 200 metres medal at the Games was in 1970 when Edwin Roberts ran second behind now legendary Jamaican Don Quarrie in Edinburgh.
Thursday’s result was a blow for Hughes, who switched allegiance from Anguilla three years ago, as he entered the final as one of the most impressive qualifiers.
He stormed through the curve to lead with Canada’s Aaron Brown chasing before Richards stormed from third to set off fireworks on the line.
Brown was upgraded to silver in 20.34 while Northern Ireland’s Leon Reid nicked bronze in 20.55.
Meanwhile, the irrepressible Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo added another title to her growing collection when she won the women’s 200 metres in record time.
The reigning Olympic 400m champion produced the smoothest of performances to dismiss her opposition and reach the finish in a new Games record of 22.09 – shattering countrywoman Debbie Ferguson’s old record of 22.20 set at the Manchester games in 2002.
Jamaican Shericka Jackson snatched silver in a personal best 22.18 while England’s Dina Asher-Smith ended with bronze in 22.29.
There was disappointment for Olympic champion, Jamaican Elaine Thompson who could only muster a big enough effort to finish fourth.
Emotions soared in the men’s 400 metres hurdles after Kyron McMaster brought home the British Virgin Islands’ first major international medal when he won gold in a time of 48.25.
The 21-year-old lost his coach Xavier Daniels when the deadly category five Hurricane Irma slammed into the Caribbean country with devastating force last September.
McMaster said the medal would hold special significance for the BVI in light of the recent tragedy, and was also in memory of Samuels, who he remembers daily through a tattoo he had inscribed on his arm following his mentor’s death.
McMaster spearheaded a Caribbean sweep of the podium, with Bahamian Jeffery Gibson clocking a season-best 49.10 for silver and Jamaican Jaheel Hyde, 49.16, for bronze.
In the corresponding women’s final, Jamaican Janieve Russell dominated to win in a time of 54.33 seconds, with England’s Eilidh Doyle taking silver in 54.80 and South Africa’s Wenda Nel, bronze in 54.96.
In the women’s sprint hurdles heats, the Jamaican trio of Danielle Williams (12.69), Yanique Thompson (12.95) and Megan Simmonds (13.17) all qualified for tomorrow’s final. (CMC)