Commonwealth Games: Eilidh Doyle wins heat to reach 400m hurdles final

Eilidh Doyle won her semi-final to progress to the final of the women's 400m hurdles. Picture: Getty Images
Eilidh Doyle won her semi-final to progress to the final of the women's 400m hurdles. Picture: Getty Images
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SCOTLAND’S most decorated athlete of all-time Eilidh Doyle made impressive progress to the final of the women’s 400m final as she won her semi-final.

Doyle, the silver medallist in this event four years ago, clocked 54.80 in the first semi, with world bronze medallist Ristananna Tracey of Jamaica struggling home in fourth. She qualified for the final as a fastest loser but looked well short of form.

Fellow Jamaican Janieve Russell looked much more of a threat to Doyle with a smooth 54.01 victory in the second semi-final.

The final takes place on Thursday.

There was disappointment for Scotland’s Zoey Clark, who failed to make it through to the women’s 400m final after finishing fourth in a rainswept semi-final.

Eilish McColgan was sixth and team-mate Steph Twell seventh in a women’s 1,500m final which saw Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya storm to an imperious victory in a time of 4:00.71 which was a personal best, Games record and also eclipsed the long-standing South Africa national record of Zola Budd, which she set before opting to run for Great Britain in the early 1980s.

Melissa Courtney of Wales took bronze.

Scotland’s Jake Wightman made it through to the men’s 800m final with a confident heat showing, finishing second for an automatic spot.

England’s Dina Asher Smith eased into the women’s 200m semi-final.

The 22-year-old, the reigning European 200m champion, won her heat in 23.28 seconds to progress to tomorrow’s race.

She was comfortable enough to slow down with 20 yards left while, in later heats, Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Jamaica’s 100m Olympic champion Elaine Thompson also won.

Asher-Smith said: “I felt good, you have to make sure you get through qualifying but also conserve energy for later rounds.

“You want to get through safely and that’s the most important thing. I won my heat so I’ll get a good lane and that’s what I wanted to do.”

England’s Finette Agyapong also qualified in 23.15s with team-mate Bianca Williams progressing in 20.23s.

Elsewhere, it was a bit of a shocker for Team England at the athletics stadium as two big medal hopes flopped.

Andy Pozzi could only finish sixth in the 110m hurdles and Sophie Hitchon was eliminated from the hammer throw final after fouling three times.

Reigning world and European indoor 60m hurdles champion Pozzi ran 13.53 seconds to finish well behind winner, Jamaica’s Ronald Levy

Pozzi struck the first two hurdles which checked his momentum and he never recovered as Jamaica made it a one-two with Hansle Parchment coming second.