England win two relay golds

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The Independent Online

England's athletes completed the Commonwealth Games on a high with two gold medals on the final evening of competition at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.

However, the athletics programme ended under a cloud as it was announced Nigerian sprinters Osayemi Oludamola, who won the women's 100metres final last Thursday, and Samuel Okon have been disqualified from the Games following doping violations.



England, though, had a successful evening, beginning with victories in the first two track events.



After the women's 4x100m relay team had struck gold, the men's quartet added a second, with Mark Lewis-Francis scorching down the home straight to anchor the team to victory.



Kate Dennison claimed pole vault bronze and the women's and men's 4x400m teams also finished third.



For Lewis-Francis, the relay win was reminiscent of the 2004 Olympic gold he won alongside Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell and Marlon Devonish.



Devonish shared in today's victory alongside Ryan Scott and Leon Baptiste, who secured a second Commonwealth gold following his victory in the men's 200m.



Lewis-Francis was behind as he received the baton from Devonish for the fourth leg, but overtook Remaldo Rose in the final metres as his Jamaican rival appeared to stumble before the line.



England took gold in 38.74 seconds, Jamaica silver in 38.79secs and India bronze in 38.89.



European and Commonwealth 100m silver medallist Lewis-Francis appeared to goad his rival after racing through the line first.



"I didn't say anything, I just screamed," said the 28-year-old Birchfield Harrier.



"There was one point in the race where I didn't think I was going to catch him, so when I did I was as surprised as he was.



"I was able to run him down and catch him.



"Memories of 2004 once again."



Devonish was equally delighted, after finishing fifth in the men's 200m final behind Baptiste.



"This medal means so much to me," said the 34-year-old.



"Normally, European and Commonwealth year I used to medal.



"This medal was my last chance, my last race of the year and I got a gold."



Baptiste, who was carrying a foot injury into the relay, was overjoyed.



The 25-year-old said: "It's been an unbelievable championships for me.



"I didn't run the best today, I'm struggling with a little injury, but I'm really happy with the gold medal.



"They ran so well all of them, especially Mark Lewis-Francis."



The victory was England's second of the day after Katherine Endacott, Montell Douglas, Laura Turner and Abi Oyepitan clocked 44.19 to win women's 4x100m gold ahead of Ghana and India.



For Endacott it has been an extraordinary Games.



She finished fourth in the women's 100m final, but the disqualification of Sally Pearson promoted her to bronze and she now will return home to Plymouth with silver after the Australian's successor as champion Oludamola was stripped of the title.



"I'm not going to forget these Games," said Endacott.



"I'm waiting to sit down and watch the telly and A Question of Sport is going to come on and they're going to say 'so, what happened next?"'



Endacott was not overly happy with the way her individual reward has improved.



"It's not a nice way to win a medal," she said.



"I'd have liked to have done it on individual merit.



"But it goes to show that they're doing their jobs properly, catching drugs cheats and I've just got to take it."



In the women's 4x400m relay, India stunned Nigeria to take gold in three minutes 27.77 seconds as England's Kelly Massey, Victoria Barr, Meghan Beesley and Nadine Okyere won bronze.



It was just the hosts' third track and field gold medal in Commonwealth Games history, swiftly following yesterday's women's discus success, as the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was sent into raptures.



Scotland's Gemma Nicol, Eilidh Child, Kathryn Evans and Lee McConnell were sixth.



In the corresponding men's event, which, barring Thursday's marathons, completed the athletics events at the Games, England quartet Conrad Williams, Nick Leavey, Rick Yates and Robert Tobin finished third behind winners Australia and second-placed Kenya.



Wales' squad of Rhys Williams, Joe Thomas, Chris Gowell and Gareth Warburton were sixth.



Dennison, meanwhile, recorded a best leap of 4.25m in the women's pole vault as Alana Boyd of Australia took gold with a best of 4.40, winning on countback from silver medallist Marianna Zachariadi of Cyprus.



Nathan Douglas was fourth in the men's triple jump, with his England team-mate Larry Achike seventh as Nigeria's Tosin Oke won gold with a best leap of 17.16m.



Like Douglas, Scotland's Steph Twell was fourth, finishing behind a Kenya one, two, three headed by Vivian Cheruiyot in the women's 5,000m final.



In the men's javelin final, Lee Doran of Wales was fifth and Scotland's James Campbell sixth as Jarrod Bannister of Australia won gold with a best throw of 81.71.



Andy Baddeley and his England team-mate Tom Lancashire finished sixth and eighth, respectively, as Kenya's Silas Kiplagat won the men's 1,500m.



Alastair Hay of Scotland was 12th.



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