Commonwealth Games: England beat New Zealand in shootout to reach women’s hockey final | Adam Gemili crashes out of 200m | Commonwealth Games News

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph's penalty as England win semi-final shootout in women's hockey at Commonwealth Games

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph’s penalty as England win semi-final shootout in women’s hockey at Commonwealth Games

England beat New Zealand in a shoot-out to stay on course for a first women’s hockey Commonwealth Games Gold in Birmingham.

Isabelle Petter and Hannah Martin scored in the shootout as goalkeeper Maddie Hinch refused to be beaten with a series of brilliant saves.

The two sides could not be separated in 60 minutes of intense hockey, playing out a goalless draw just like they had done in the bronze-medal match in Australia four years ago.

On that occasion, New Zealand won the shootout to progress to the gold medal match, and the Black Sticks also got the better of England in the World Cup last month with a 3-1 victory.

Hinch said: “This is fairytale stuff for us, to come here and find ourselves in the final.

“This is a hugely important step for us to start believing and realise what we’re capable of. It was a cracking semi, I’m just so delighted for the team.

Asked about penalties, Hinch added: “I absolutely love them. You have to, you know it’s going to be a tough gig.

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in a semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in a semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

“As goalies, a lot of the time you’re picking the ball out of the net, it’s pretty unforgiving.

“These are the moments to really showcase the position, and I’m trying to inspire as many people as possible to wear these weird-looking outfits and be the hero for a few minutes.”

Ekimova wins England’s first ever rhythmic gymnastics gold

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics as she clinched the all-around title at Arena Birmingham.

The 17-year-old top-scored on hoop and clubs to total 112.300, narrowly ahead of silver medallist Anna Sokolova of Cyprus.

It was Ekimova’s second medal of the Birmingham Games after teaming up with Saffron Severn and Alice Leaper to win a team bronze medal on the opening day of competition on Thursday.

Marfa Ekimova won England's first ever golf in rhythmic gymnastics

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first ever golf in rhythmic gymnastics

That bronze had represented England’s first rhythmic gymnastics medal since they also won a team bronze at the Delhi Games in 2010.

Ekimova said: “It’s amazing and a dream come true. It was a roaring crowd and everything a gymnast could ever have wished for.

“I hope children will have been watching and I hope to have inspired them to want to be a rhythmic gymnast. I love to perform and for people to enjoy my performance and my passion, it means everything.”

Ekimova has more chances to add to her medal tally on Saturday having qualified for all but one of the individual apparatus finals in hoop, ball and ribbon.

Laugher claims second gold

Jack Laugher was full of praise after he sealed his second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games, winning the men’s synchronised three-metre springboard event alongside partner Anthony Harding.

In what is a relatively new partnership between the pair, they topped the leaderboard in Friday’s event with 438.33, winning by a massive 61.56 points.

For Harding, this is his first medal on his Commonwealth debut and the 22-year-old was delighted to finally have the chance to show what he can do.

England's Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher with their gold medals won in the Men's Synchronised 3m Springboard final

England’s Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher with their gold medals won in the Men’s Synchronised 3m Springboard final

He said: “I’m over the moon with it, I mean I did a pretty okay performance, I could have done a little better, I know Jack’s maybe a little disappointed, but I have just worked so hard for this.

“I have waited plenty of years, I’ve watched him [Laugher] at three other Commonwealths, three Olympics, so it’s been a while for me to get onto this kind of stage and he’s a massive help.”

Laugher came into the competition with plenty of experience in the discipline having won it in Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast 2018 alongside partner Chris Mears.

He also won gold in Thursday’s one-metre individual springboard event and has a chance to add a third in Saturday’s three-metre individual springboard, but was encouraged by Friday’s performance.

“Two in two days, it’s been great,” Laugher said. “I struggled to get to sleep last night a little bit, felt a little bit worse for wear this morning really, but I think I put together an okay performance.

“Anthony’s done a great job and it was a massive ask to come out here in his first Commonwealth Games in front of a big crowd and to perform that consistently and that solidly, so it’s a really, really good performance for a lot of reasons.

“Things need to be improved on, things need to get better, but overall, really happy with the performance and two golds is obviously the best I can ask for.”

Gemili crashes out of 200m | Muir reaches another final

Adam Gemili crashed out of the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. He failed to reach Saturday’s final after only running 20.97 seconds to come fourth in his semi-final on Friday.

It is another disappointment for Gemili, who was knocked out of the heats at the World Championships in Eugene last month.

Then, he initially blamed the media spotlight on his controversial ex-coach Rana Reider, who is being investigated by the US Centre for SafeSport after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, for impacting his form and mindset.

Adam Gemili loses out in his 200m semi-final

Adam Gemili loses out in his 200m semi-final

The 28-year-old, who was based in Florida, split from Reider just days before the Games in Birmingham and knows he needs a change.

“I know there have been issues with me this year, it has affected me,” said Gemili, who still may run in Saturday’s 4x100m relay heats. “Physically I’m OK but there has been a lot which has affected my training and the mental side for me.

“That’s something which has been new this season and I’ve really struggled to get that right. I didn’t know how much of a difference it does really make. It’s for me to come home and find some happiness again.”

European champion Zharnel Hughes did qualify for the final, winning his semi in 20.32 seconds. In the women’s semi-final Elaine Thompson-Herah cruised through to win in 22.63 seconds.

Laura Muir is eyeing an elusive Commonwealth Games medal after reaching her second final. The Scot finished fifth in her 1500m heat on Friday morning to reach Sunday’s final at the Alexander Stadium.

She ran four minutes 14.11 seconds as she paced herself in the morning session in Birmingham, having also reached Saturday’s 800m final.

Laura Muir is through to the 1500m final

Laura Muir is through to the 1500m final

A Commonwealth Games medal is the only one missing from Muir’s collection after she finished 11th in the 1500m – having been clipped – in 2014 and skipped the Gold Coast four years ago to focus on her vet exams.

“This is the last one. If I can get not just one but two it would be very special,” she said.

“It was nice to get the legs moving after Tuesday (800m heat), it feels a long time ago, and it’s nice to qualify and save as much energy as I could.”

Scotland team-mate Jemma Reekie also qualified along with England’s Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant.

England’s Cindy Sember ran 12.67 seconds to win her 100m hurdles heat, while in the long jump, Jazmin Sawyers (6.80m), Lorraine Ugen (6.79m) and Abigail Irozuru (6.59m) all reached the final.

Matt Hudson-Smith, aiming to build on his bronze medal in Eugene, won his 400m semi-final in 45.77 seconds to seal his spot in Sunday’s final.

England’s Lizzie Bird also took silver in the 3,000m steeplechase and Naomi Metzger clinched triple jump bronze after a personal best of 14.37m.

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