Commonwealth Games: Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Eilish McColgan claim golds

Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

England’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Scotland’s Eilish McColgan earned hugely popular Commonwealth Games titles on the loudest night yet at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

Johnson-Thompson’s win marks the former world champion’s return to the top of an international podium after three years of injury and coaching changes.

She finished on 6,377 points, 144 clear of Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor.

McColgan’s victory marks her first major title at the age of 31.

Her triumph also follows in the footsteps of her mother Liz, who won the same title at Edinburgh 1986 and Auckland 1990.

As the volume rose and the laps counted down, McColgan found herself locked together with Kenya’s Irine Cheptai.

Cheptai, who finished sixth ahead of McColgan at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, opened up a metre’s lead with 250m to go.

But McColgan reeled her in, surged on and, after checking over her shoulder for a response that never came, landed her biggest win yet.

“This is the most incredible moment of my career,” McColgan said.

“I couldn’t hear myself think or breathe, in that last 100m the crowd carried me.”

McColgan ran faster than her mum did for either of her Commonwealth Games golds.

Her time of 30 minutes 48.60 seconds is a Games record and adds gold to a season that has already been littered with new landmarks.

McColgan broke the European 10km, British half-marathon and Scottish 10,000m records this year, but an untimely hamstring niggle hindered her chances at last month’s World Championships.

Johnson-Thompson returns to the summit

Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Johnson-Thompson’s win means she retains the title she won on the Gold Coast in 2018

Johnson-Thompson came into the 800m finale with a healthy lead over second-placed O’Connor, but left nothing to chance as she chased hard to the line to finish more than half a second ahead of her 21-year-old rival.

The 800m may have been the coronation, but it was in the javelin that Johnson-Thompson saw off the young pretenders to her throne.

The throwing events are where the 29-year-old is most vulnerable. She had not been within three metres of her personal best of 43.93m since she threw it in 2019.

In Wednesday’s penultimate event, O’Connor’s opening-round 50.83m, in reply to Johnson-Thompson’s initial 36.19m, heaped pressure on the defending champion.

But Johnson-Thompson mustered a final-round 44.33m before clasping her face in her hands in a mix of surprise and delight.

Further than she has ever thrown before, it was a performance few others had seen coming either after three years of faltering form and fitness.

Johnson-Thompson’s England team-mate Jade O’Dowda took bronze with 6,212 points.

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