Round-up: Determined Baptiste turns his 'fire' into gold following European disappointment

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Another night of track and field finals at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium; another English gold. On Friday it was Andy Turner in the 110m hurdles. On Saturday it was Louise Hazel in the heptathlon. Yesterday it was Leon Baptiste in the 200m.

The 25-year-old, a member of the Enfield and Haringey Athletic Club, arrived in the Indian capital as a man on a mission, having lost out to Marlon Devonish in a training track race-off for the final 200m spot in the British team for the European Championships in Barcelona in July.

This time, he was not to be denied, powering to victory in 20.45sec, 0.04sec ahead of Jamaican Lansford Spence, with Christian Malcolm claiming the third medal of the night for Wales – after Dai Greene's gold and Rhys Williams' bronze in the 400m hurdles. Devonish finished fifth in 20.45sec.

It was the second slowest winning time in the event since 1974. Not that Baptiste could care. "It feels good now with the flag around me and a gold medal," he said. "The Europeans were the lowest point of my career. I sat down, did a lot of self-evaluation. I was determined to go to the Commonwealths and do the best I could. That made me fight for this, put a fire in my belly.

"Steadily I've improved every year since 2005, that's the only reason I've carried on," he added. "I can't wait to get home and see my family and enjoy the moment "

For Malcolm, runner-up in the 200m at the European Championships, it was a second major championship medal in three months. "I'm very pleased for Christian," Baptiste said. "I'm a great admirer of the way he runs."

On a night when the women's 200m final was postponed because of a protest that the Cypriot sprinter Eleni Artymata had stepped out of her lane in her semi-final, there was also a bronze medal in the discus for England's Carl Myerscough. The former doping offender throwing 60.64m.

For Scotland, there was a second athletics medal. Following Steph Twell's gutsy run for bronze in the 1500m on Friday, Eilidh Child claimed silver in the 400m hurdles yesterday, the Perth schoolteacher finishing runner-up to Muizat Odumosu of Nigeria in 55.62. "I hope all the kids at Perth Grammar saw it," she said. "They all knew it was on."

On the final day of action in the swimming pool on Saturday, Scotland's Hannah Miley won the 400m individual medley in a Games record 4min 38.83sec, despite having been on antibiotics for six days. It also emerged that her coach and father, Patrick, had been placed in isolation in the Scottish team quarters, suffering from a touch of "Delhi belly".

At the shooting range, Anita North won the women's singles trap on Saturday and yesterday her England team-mate, Aaron Heading, did likewise in the men's event.

Delhi diary: what to watch

* From 10.30am Rugby Sevens

Ben Gollings's England side begin their campaign with matches against Sri Lanka, Uganda and Australia.

* 2:55pm Lawn Bowls

South Devon bowler Natalie Melmore, who won the national Under-25s singles championship last November, tries her luck in the women's pairs.

* 2.10pm Boxing semi-final

Haroon Khan, brother of Amir and fighting for Pakistan, faces Suranjoy Mayengbam, of India, for a place in the flyweight final.

TV: BBC2 9am-12pm, 12:30pm-2.15pm BBC1 2.15pm-6pm Highlights: BBC2 7pm-8pm Additional coverage: BBCi.