More bowls gold for Team SA

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iol spt aug2 Piketh-Botha Getty Images Colleen Piketh and Traxy-Lee Botha won South Africas fifth lawn bowls medal at the Commonwealth Games.(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

GLASGOW – Sprint legend Usain Bolt in the 4x100m relay and British teenage diving star Tom Daley make their eagerly anticipated Commonwealth Games entrances as South Africa enjoyed more lawn bowls success on Friday.

Bolt, who raced neither the 100 nor 200m, won by Jamaican teammates Kemar Bailey-Cole and Rasheed Dwyer respectively, is due to take part in heats for the relay, with the final slated for Saturday.

The first of Friday's 20 golds went to Colleen Piketh and Traxy-Lee Botha, the South Africans edging England's Natalie Melmore and Jamie-Lea Winch in a nailbiting women's pairs final.

Northern Ireland beat Jersey for the bronze medal.

This was South Africa's fifth lawn bowls gold of the Games, with Piketh and Botha prevailing 20-17 after an extra end.

Shortly after, England claimed their 45th gold medal courtesy of Jack Laugher and Chris Mears beating Australia's Grant Nel and Matthew Mitcham in the men's synchronised 3m springboard.

“We're such close friends, to come out here and smash it today is amazing,” said Mears.

On the track later, Olympic champion Sally Pearson goes for the 100m hurdles title as she bids to bury the controversy over the suspension of Australian team head coach Eric Hollingsworth for his outspoken criticism of her for missing a pre-Games team training camp.

Main rivals will likely include US-born Briton Tiffany Porter and Danielle Williams of Jamaica.

World champion Eunice Sum will be favourite in the women's 800m, but there's no room for Kenyan teammate Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist and a three-time world medallist including gold in Osaka in 2007 failing to qualify.

Similar Kenyan dominance is likely to come in the men's 3000m steeplechase where double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi is chasing a second Commonwealth gold eight years on from his success at Melbourne 2006.

Ugandan Moses Kipsiro is back to try and defend his 10,000m title, having already lost his 5,000m title earlier in the Games.

There are also finals in the women's high jump and discus, and the men's pole vault.

Boxing enters the semi-final stages with Northern Ireland on course to better their haul of three gold medals they collected in New Dehli four years ago.

Paddy Barnes attempts to defend the light flyweight title he won in New Dehli four years ago when he takes on Fazil Juma Kaggwa from Uganda.

Barnes is one of nine boxers from Northern Ireland competing in the semi-finals and who are all guaranteed at least a bronze.

Scotland will be hoping for a first ever heavyweight champion when Stephen Lavelle goes up against David Light of New Zealand in their last four bout.

The victor will face either Canada's Samir El-Mais or Efetobor Apochi of Nigeria in the final.

Scotland's other hopes rest with Reece McFadden in the men's flyweight while Josh Taylor is one of the favourites in the light-welterweight competition.

Taylor will take on English boxer Samuel Maxwell for a place in the final.

Tulani Mbenge is already guaranteed to win South Africa's first boxing medal since 2006 but he will want to emulate the gold won by Bongani Mwelase in Melbourne.

The South African will take on Scott Fitzgerald of England for a place in the men's welterweight final.

Fitzgerald is one of seven English fighters left with a chance of a gold medal with Joseph Joyce taking on Mike Sekabembe of Uganda for a place in the super-heavyweight final.

English fighter Nicola Adams is still on course to add a Commonwealth gold medal to her Olympic title.

Standing between Adams and a place in the final is Canada's Mandy Bujold, who eliminated Australia's Kirsty Harris.

Joining them in the last four on Friday are Michaela Walsh from Northern Ireland and Pinki Rani of India

South Africa will face reigning champions Australia, whilst England take on New Zealand for a place in Saturday's gold medal match of women's hockey.

In the diving, Daley teams up with James Denny in the men's synchronised 10m platform.

The England star won at the Delhi 2010 Games with Max Brick and placed fourth in the event at the London Olympics.

Also Friday the Commonwealth Games Federation will hold a hearing into Nigerian teenage weightlifter Chika Amalaha's failed drugs test.

Amalaha, whose A sample failed a control after claiming gold in the women's 53kg category on July 25, also produced a positive B sample.

The tests revealed traces of diuretics and masking agents. – Sapa-AFP


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