New Delhi - Kenyan women strode to the 1 500m and 10 000m Commonwealth Games titles on Friday as Amantle Montsho won Botswana's first-ever gold medal.
European champion Andy Turner, meanwhile, led an English clean sweep of the men's 110m hurdles.
Kenya came to New Delhi with a strong middle and long distance team and after their men failed to land the 5,000m title, their women were determined to reassert their dominance.
Olympic 1,500m champion Nancy Langat led the way, breezing to the title in a new Games record time of 4:05.26 ahead of New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and Scotland's Stephanie Twell.
Ahead of the Games, Lagat said her season ended with the recent Continental Cup race in Croatia and that she was in Delhi for a holiday, but it didn't show.
“It's a great achievement. I was so excited when I crossed the line. I thank God that I won gold and I am so proud of myself and I love my country,” she said, insisting she had prepared properly.
With Kenyan world champion Linet Masai opting out of the Games, her compatriot Grace Momanyi took the 10 000m gold in 32:34.11, narrowly ahead of teammate Doris Changeywo.
But the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for India's Kavita Raut, who claimed an impressive third.
“I am very happy to make my country proud. This is also my first gold medal in a major competition for Kenya,” said Momanyi.
“The plan was always to stay behind the leaders while we found our rhythm because we were not sure about the track conditions.”
Turner led an English clean sweep of the hurdles, crossing in 13.38 ahead of compatriots William Sharman and Lawrence Clarke.
While the time was short of Colin Jackson's 13.08 Commonwealth record, it capped a memorable season for Turner whose career scaled new heights with the Commonwealth crown going with the European championship gold he won in Spain.
“I so wanted that gold medal after Barcelona,” he said. “I wanted to do the double so bad, what a way to finish the season. I want to get in the mix at the world championships next year now.”
With English Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogo missing from the women's 400m, along with Jamaica's world-class trio of Shericka Simpson, Novlene Williams-Mills and Kaliese Spencer, the race was there for the taking.
It was Botswana's Montsho who stepped up, smashing the Games record on her way to crossing in 50.10 seconds for her country's first ever Commonwealth gold.
Nigeria's Folashade Abugan took silver and Guyuna's Tabitha Pompey the bronze.
“I'll be a hero when I get home,” said Montsho. “I didn't feel any pressure because I knew I was going to win tonight.”
In the men's 400m, Kenya's Mark Muttai was the fastest qualifier into the final in 45.63, with Australia's Sean Wroe close behind.
On the field, Jamaica's Trecia Smith successfully defended her triple jump title with a season-best leap of 14.19 metres ahead of Trinidad and Tobago's Ayanna Alexander and Canada's Tabia Charles.
Smith was the only competing athlete to have broken the 14m barrier in either of the last two years.
Canada's Jamie Adjetey-Nelson, meanwhile, proved to be the best all-round athlete by winning the decathlon title with 8,070 points from the 10 events.
The action followed Australia's Sally Pearson being stripped of the 100m gold medal she won on Thursday for a false start, with Nigeria's Osayemi Oludamola elevated to first.
Pearson had been escorted to the medallists' waiting room and Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell admitted it was handled badly.
“It was a major communication blunder,” he said.
Despite the absence of 800m world record holder David Rudisha, Kenya has proved to have plenty of depth here and World Indoor Championships silver medallist Boaz Lalang easily qualified for the semi-finals.
Joining him were fellow Kenyans Abraham Kiplagat and Richard Kiplagat on another sweltering Delhi day. - Sapa-AFP