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Commonwealth Games: Nick Miller and Olivia Breen win gold medals

April 7, 2018
Mark Dry, Nick Miller, Matty Denny
Mark Dry and Nick Miller were two of six home nations athletes competing in the hammer final

England’s Nick Miller and Wales’ Olivia Breen secured Commonwealth golds with new Games records on the opening day of athletics at Gold Coast 2018.

Miller, 24, initially struggled before following up a 76.48m throw with a huge 80.26m effort that set a new British record as well as shattering the 12-year-old Games mark by 2.73m.

Breen sealed gold with a superb 4.86m leap on her sixth attempt.

The 21-year-old’s victory is Wales’ third gold of the Games.

It follows Elinor Barker’s points race win in the velodrome and weightlifter Gareth Evans’ success.

Elsewhere England’s Asha Philip won her women’s 100m semi-final in 11.21 seconds with team-mate Adam Gemili also booking his place in Monday’s men’s final with a run of 10.11.

Gemili chased home Yohan Blake, the second-fastest man of all time and the fastest man into the final, as the Jamaican won their semi-final in 10.06.

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Home nations trio through in 100m heats

But on the opening afternoon of athletics action, Miller’s gold was the world-class performance.

Miller had extended his British record this season with a world-leading throw of 78.29m in the United States in March.

His latest milestone underlines his credentials as one of Britain’s brightest medal prospects for this year’s European Championships this year, next year’s World Championships and Tokyo 2020.

Only three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek and fellow Pole Wojciech Nowicki managed better during 2017.

After identifying an 80m-plus throw and a Commonwealth gold as his twin goals for 2018, Miller will now have to reassess where he aims his efforts next.

“It is just incredible to win the gold,” he said.

“Things got a little more serious last year. I got married and that changed my perspective on things.

“Everything seems to be slotting in to place and this result is the end of a lot of effort over the past year.”

Breen repeated her London 2017 victory over Australia’s Erin Cleaver in the T38 long jump. She beat Cleaver to gold at the World Para-athletics Championships in London by 20cm, and the victory was more conclusive this time around with a personal best jump on the last round giving her a winning margin of half a metre.

The Guildford-born athlete, who contracted a meningitis-type illness at birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged two, overcame a hamstring tear at the end of last year as she prepared for the Games.

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When hammer throwing goes wrong