Sheffield’s Sophie Taylor’s remarkable Commonwealth Games ended with a silver lining – and it shows how far she’s come in Glasgow that it was deemed disappointing.
Taylor, 18, claimed a stunning 100m breaststroke title on Monday and was back on the final evening a day later as part of England’s 4x100m medley relay. After Ellie Faulkner had finished seventh in the 400m freestyle and Joe Roebuck sixth in the 200m medley, she was part of an English quartet that took silver.
They clocked 3:57.03 minutes as Australia won in a Games record 3:56.23 and Taylor said: “My mum has always said to me in a relay that I’m a fighter. And that’s what I’ll do. Obviously we weren’t in first place which the whole team wanted us to be but I got in and gave it my all.”
Decathlete John Lane slipped to fourth overall on the track while Mukhtar Mohammed gave himself some anxious moments before booking his 800m progress. Only the top three from each heat at Hampden Park progressed to today’s semi-finals and it looked like Mohammed would be caught out by a late injection of pace.
But the 23-year old European indoor bronze medallist found a late kick to claim fourth in 1:49.13 and advance as one of four non automatic qualifiers. “My only job was to get a lane for that semi-final, it’s all about qualifying and I did that,” he said.
“It’s a very competitive field so I need to rest and get back out there and give it everything.”
Nick Matthew admits he will be taking more of a supporting role in the early stages of the men’s doubles as he looks to recover from his men’s singles squash triumph. Matthew capped a remarkable return from injury to successfully defend his singles title on Monday.
There was little time for celebration as the 34-year-old returned yesterday for his opening men’s doubles pool games alongside Adrian Grant. The pair certainly showed they meant business, defeating Malta’s Bradley Hindle and Daniel Zammit-Lewis in straight sets in the morning before repeating the trick against Guyana’s Alexander Arjoon and Sunil Seth in the evening.
“It was pretty emotional, there’s not been much time for it to sink it as it was straight back to doubles,” he said. “I think I will really digest that next week. I’ve got to have the mentality the job is not done, it’s only half way done.”
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