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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Android App Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum