Commonwealth Games: England's sprint hopes lifted by Collins' exit

England's prospects of earning the 100 metres sprint medal that eluded them four years ago in Manchester improved significantly yesterday when Kim Collins, who saw off the challenge of the sprinters Mark Lewis-Francis and Dwayne Chambers four years ago, withdrew from the 18th Commonwealth Games because of an injury.

Collins's absence only came to light during yesterday's opening ceremony when he was not among the parading competitors from St Kitts and Nevis.

Collins was an unheralded champion in Manchester four years ago in a final which saw Lewis-Francis suffer a pulled hamstring and Chambers - who has since been given a two-year ban for doping offences - hampered by cramp.

The presence here of Jamaica's world record holder, Asafa Powell, seeking his first major title, meant that the unassuming Collins was not regarded as being the favourite in the sprint event. But his record indicates that he would have been a strong medal contender.

Life therefore becomes a shade easier for Lewis-Francis, whose form has dipped since an impressive victory in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago, and Jason Gardener, who gave up the chance of defending his world indoor 60m title in Moscow last weekend in order to seek a first major outdoor medal in the individual event. Both will still have their work cut out to compete with Powell and his Jamaican colleague Michael Frater, not to mention the young Trinidadian who earned a bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships, Darrel Brown.

A few hours before the Queen had taken her seat at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field programme are taking place, England were saying goodbye to a strong gold medal prospect as Beth Tweddle, expected to contest the overall gymnastics title with the home athlete Monette Russo, had to withdraw from the competition after injuring her right ankle during warm-up.

The 20-year-old Cheshire athlete was taken from the arena in a wheelchair after landing awkwardly from a vault and a scan revealed ligament damage which will prevent her from adding to the gold medal she won four years ago in Manchester on the asymmetric bars.

"As soon as I did it I knew there was something wrong," said Tweddle, who has also won two world bronze medals in her specialist discipline. "I knew as soon as I took off on the vault it didn't feel right on the board. As soon as the impact hit me my coach pulled me to one side to have a medical examination.

"This is a big disappointment. I have been looking forward to competing here and I've been working hard towards this for six months. As the captain I will be staying to cheer the others on and keep their spirits high. I will leave my disappointment behind and concentrate on supporting them."

The 12-year-old aiming to put Vanuatu on the map

There is a new face at the 18th Commonwealth Games. You will see it at one end of a table tennis table, but only just, as Yoshua Shing, a 12-year-old prodigy from the South Pacific island Vanuatu, is only 4ft 11in tall.

Shing's achievement in being selected for these Games appears even greater for the fact that there are only four table tennis tables in the whole of Vanuatu, a tiny island nation of about 206,000 people lying halfway between Hawaii and Australia. But already the youngest competitor here has managed to reach a level of attainment that has earned him appearances in the World Cadet Championships and made him a celebrity back home.

Shing was invited to China by a wealthy businessman to hone his skill and prepare for the games. "I can't believe there are so many good players there," he said. "I need to practise more if I want to be good."

And he has already discovered one of the delights of the Athletes' Village... he loves the beef sausages.

News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 5 Primary Teaching positionRands...

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone