The South African captain Shaun Pollock proudly collected the inaugural Games gold medal from the King of Malaysia yesterday. The presentation gave South Africa's four-wicket defeat of the favourites Australia the royal seal of approval and it was a victory which must have lessened the disappointment of losing this summer's Test series against England. Pollock led by example with outstanding figures of 4 for 19, claiming the top three wickets in his opening five overs, a burst from which Australia never recovered despite a splendid unbeaten 90 from the captain Steve Waugh. A modest score of 183 all out from 49.3 overs proved no problem for South Africa after a quickfire opening stand of 72 between Andrew Hudson (36) and Mike Rindel, who top-scored with 67.
Canadian and English boxers have grabbed nearly half the finals spots and look set to take the lion's share of gold today. England's Audley Harrison is the favourite for gold in the super-heavyweight final after completely dominating all his opponents and remains the best prospect to come out of the Games since Lennox Lewis in 1986. England have three more excellent chances of gold with the light- middleweight Chris Bessey, the middleweight John Pearce and light-heavyweight Courtney Cox. Bessey and Cox both face tough Canadian opposition in Scott Macintosh and Troy Amos respectively.
England's final say
Australia and England dominated the doubles championships, reaching the finals of the men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.The third- seeded Australians, Rodney Eyles and Bryon Davies, meet the fourth-seeded English pair, Mark Chaloner and Paul Johnson. The women's final will be between the No 2 seeds, Sue Wright and Cassie Jackman, of England, and Australia's Robyn Cooper and Rachel Grinham. In the mixed doubles final, the English top seeds, Suzanne Horner and Simon Parke will meet the Australian second seeds, Michelle Martin and Craig Rowland.
Khan in firing line
The Pakistani marksman Rustam Khan was ordered to return to the Games doping control centre in Kuala Lumpur after failing a drug test. Khan, who was eighth in the men's pairs centre rifle contest in Langkawi earlier this week, was ordered to witness the second test after coming fifth in individual centre rifle.