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Gold and silver for Australia in javelin

Ice-cool Kelsey-Lee Barber has done it again, snatching the Commonwealth javelin gold medal from fellow Australian Mackenzie Little with yet more last-throw heroics.

Little had every right to believe the gold medal was hers on Sunday after twice bettering her PB with throws of 64.03m and 64.27m.

But Barber has form in this type of scenario.

She won the first of her two world titles with a monster last-round throw three years ago in Doha and then clinched the Olympic bronze medal in similar fashion in Tokyo.

So no-one should have been surprised when the 30-year-old repeated the dose on Sunday with a clutch final heave of 64.43m moving her from second spot to first.

The 30-year-old now has the full set of Commonwealth medals, having won bronze in 2014 and siver in 2018.

“I am not going to lie,” said Barber.

“It is really nice to know I have the confidence I can keep lifting through a competition and I can find something in that last round

“It’s really easy to get caught up chasing and Mackenzie put it out there and I chased it in round two and it’s a reminder you can’t force the javelin.

“It’s a nice card to have going into competitions.”

The final stages of Barber’s Games preparation were thrown off kilter after she tested positive to COVID-19 on arrival in England.

There were a few nervous moments but Barber and her coach and husband Mike Barber remained confident her fitness wold hold up, despite missing a few days of training.

“I do feel a little more fatigued than I normally would after a six-round throw but symptom-wise I am feeling really good,” she said.

“I just willed a little bit of health into my body.”

Little was thrilled with silver in the best competition of her burgeoning career.

“I gave it my best and that’s all I can do,” she said.

“We always know (Kelsey-Lee) is there. She’s not out until the last round so I knew I had to be there too.”

The bronze went to Annu Rani from India with 60.00m.

Australian Michelle Jenneke produced another fast time but it proved only good enough for fifth in a red-hot women’s 100m hurdles final.

World record holder Tobi Amusan from Nigeria blew the field away with a winning time of 12.30 seconds, smashing the 16-year-old Games record of 12.65.

Jenneke was also impressive, finishing fifth in 12.68 – just a couple of hundredths of a second outside her personal best set last month at the world championships in Eugene.

“That is like by far the fastest race that has ever been at a Commonwealth Games,” said Jenneke.

“The previous Games record was 12.65 and that was just absolutely obilterated.

“Fifth at the Commonwealth Games probably doesn’t sound that impressive but in that field, I tell you what, it really is because that was red-hot.”

Fellow Australian Celeste Mucci was seventh in 13.03.

Australia were unlucky to miss out on a medal in the women’s 4x100m relay.

Anchor runner Naa Anang was clearly in third spot when she took the baton from Jacinta Beecher, but she was run down in the shadows of the line by Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 100m and 200m champ in Birmingham and a five-time Olympic gold medallist.

Declan Tingay was overtaken by Canadian veteran Evan Dunfee in the final lap of the men’s 10,000 race walk and had to settle for silver.

Dunfee clocked a winning time of 38:36.37 ahead of Tingay in 38:42.33.

Muzala Samukonga (44.66) won Zambia’s first gold medal of the Birmingham Games, storming home over the top of local hope Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.81) in the men’s 400m final.

Australian Steve Solomon was seventh in 46.22.

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