BIG AND BROAD!
Blazing Broadwell lights up Birmingham with superb sprint hurdles gold
Jamaica's Rasheed Broadbell celebrates after winning in the men's 110m hurdles final athletics event at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham on day seven of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, central England, on August 4, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

BIRMINGHAM, England — Rasheed Broadbell saved his best performance for the biggest race of his career, producing a lifetime best and equalling the Commonwealth Games record in a dominant win in the 110m hurdles final inside Alexander Stadium last night.

In one of the coldest nights in Birmingham since the start of the Games, Broadbell brought fire to the track with a dominant run, stopping the clock at 13.08 seconds, the fastest time by a Jamaican this year and a performance that equalled Collin Jackson's games record, which he ran in 1990 and 1994.

Broadbell, a semi-finalist at the World Championships, shared that he was driven by the disappointment of missing out on the final in Eugene and the promise he gave to Olympic champion Hansle Parchment, who pulled out of the final as a precaution due to discomfort in his injured hamstring.

"I'm just really feeling grateful. I put in a lot of work leading up to these Games, and after missing out on the final at the World Championships I really sat down and talked to my coach and we knew we needed to fix a few things, and that's what I did today, it was all about execution," Broadbell said.

Jamaica's Rasheed Broadwell celebrates his 110m hurdles gold medal win by draping himself in his nation's flag. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)

"Once it's a healthy Rasheed, it's a crazy Rasheed. This is really good for me." said Broadbell, who is coached by Reynaldo Walcott at Elite Performance Track Club.

Orlando Bennett, who was also competing in his first senior international final, finished fifth in 13.43 seconds.

Traves Smikle also enjoyed success last night, winning bronze in the men's discus with a 64.58-m effort, which landed him behind gold medallist Matthew Denny from Australia, who posted a personal best 67.26m, and England's Lawrence Okoye, 64.99m, who took the silver medal.

Roje Stona, with 62.15m, was sixth.

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah poses with her gold medal won in the final of the women's 100m on Wednesday.

While happy with the podium finish, Smikle expressed disappointment that he was not able to deliver a better performance in the final.

"I'm grateful that I got a medal. It was really difficult. I started off really slow, the place was really, really cold, but as you know, in the world of sports, you have to adjust to whatever you're given and my coach just told me to relax and execute, and that's what I did," said Smikle. "It's bittersweet. Congrats to the winner, and I'm happy for the medal, but for me, this series was below what I've been doing all season, and even in the preliminaries, I think the first two throws were much better than even my best throw here. So it wasn't what I wanted, but at the end of the day, it's an ugly bronze, but I'm grateful."

Shawn-D Thompson's 8.05m was his best mark of the season and the best he has delivered since 2019, but in the end, he fell two centimetres short of the men's long jump podium, with third place going to South Africa's Jovan von Vuuren, 8.06m.

The Bahamas' Laquan Nairn, 8.08m, took the gold ahead of silver medal winner Murali Sreeshankar, who also posted 8.08m, by virtue of having a better second-best jump than the Indian athlete.

Bronze medallist Jamaica's Travis Smikle in action in the men's discus on Thursday.

Jamaica's women's 400m hurdles trio of Rushell Clayton, Shiann Salmon, and Janieve Russell all impressed on their way to tomorrow's final. Clayton, 54.93, posted the fastest time in qualifying, while Salmon, 55.30, got the better of Russell, 55.79, in their heat.

Earlier, 100m gold medal winner Elaine Thompson-Herah, 22.80, and 100m finalist Natalliah Whyte, 23.61, both won their heats and are through to the 200m semi-final, while Jamaica's lone competitor in the men's event, Kadrian Goldson, 21.19, also made progress.

Kimberly Williamson and Lamara Distin both cleared 1.81m and are through to the women's high jump final.

In netball, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls set up a meeting with New Zealand in the semi-finals after an exciting 57-55 win over Australia to take group honours and continue their push for a place in the final.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 47 goals from 50 attempts as Jamaica secured their first win over the top-ranked Australians at a major international championship.

In men's 1m springboard final at Sandwell, Yona Knight-Wisdom could only manage a fifth-place finish with 383.10 points, while Julian Morrison and Chris Binnie enjoyed success on the squash court with a 2-1 (8-11, 11-4, 11-4) win over St Vincent's Othniel Bailey and Jason Doyle in the men's doubles round-of-32 comeptition.

Solesha Young and Kane Watson fell 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 1-11) to Ghana's Derek Abrefa and Cynthia Kwabe in table tennis mixed doubles round-of-64 action.

The Jamaicans won four of their five assignments in badminton yesterday, with Tahlia Richardson and Samuel Ricketts winning their singles round-of-32 matches, while Ricketts and Joel Angus were also victorious in their men's doubles round-of-32 game, with Angus and Katherine Wynter taking victory in the mixed doubles round of 32.

Meanwhile, Robert Simpson again lost in lawn bowls men's singles sectional play, falling 21-4 to Fiji's Semesa Naiseruvati.

BY ANDRE LOWE Sports Content Manager lowea@jamaicaobserver.com

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