Australia

Bol, Caldwell Middle Distance Medal

Peter Boll and Abby Caldwell won middle-distance medals as Australia claimed athletics bragging rights at the Commonwealth Games.

Pre-race favorite Bol finished second to Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamar in the men’s 800m, while Caldwell took home a surprise bronze medal in the women’s 1500m on the final night of the athletics competition at Alexander Stadium.

Brooke Bushkool then won Australia’s last medal of the game, her second consecutive Commonwealth silver medal in the long jump.

The 800m silver medal was bittersweet for Boll, who became an overnight sensation at last year’s Tokyo Olympics by breaking two national records and finishing fourth in the final.

“I wanted to win, but I wanted a medal first,” Boll, 28, said.

“There was a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations.

“I think we lived up to that. That’s the first medal down.”

Kinyamar moved ahead with 250 meters to go and held on for the win in 1:47.52, while Boru was second in 1:47.66.

“I could have won with 20 meters to go, but I only ran 800 meters, not 820,” added Boll.

“Looking at the start list, there are no top runners.

“I knew it was going to be tactical, and I knew I had to come home stronger, and I think I did it, so I’m happy with that.

“I’ve been chasing a medal for a long time and after last year’s disappointment (at the Olympics), after the disappointment at the World Championships (where he was seventh in the final), to be here on the podium, You can’t be disappointed’

Despite winning the national title and setting an automatic qualifying time, Caldwell controversially missed the 1500m at last month’s World Championships in Eugene.

A podium finish at Birmingham was like a two-finger salute to the selectors, even though she chose not to rub it.

The 21-year-old raced home in the final straight to overtake fellow Australian Linden Hall for third in 4:04.79.

Scotland’s Laura Muir won gold in 4:02.75.

“Honestly, I don’t know where that came from,” Caldwell said.

“The 1500s were brutal, and seeing the girls in the front and finding extra gear to come from behind meant a lot to me.

“I felt it there, but when you’re in that state you can’t see the finish line, you just go for it.

“…things like (unselected) will burn at first, but that’s part of the sport and you have to take it.

“I’m not going to discredit the other girls. Whoever gets picked, these girls are all great athletes.”

In the women’s long jump, Nigeria’s Esa Blume won with 7.00m, followed by national record holder Bouchkür in 6.95m.

Bol, Caldwell Middle Distance Medal

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