GOLD COAST, Australia, CMC – Jamaican Fedrick Dacres broke a 16-year-old record while Danniel Thomas-Dodd claimed her first global title, grabbing the headlines as the 21st Commonwealth Games moved into the home stretch here yesterday.
The 24-year-old Dacres captured gold in the men’s discus with a throw of 68.20 metres, shattering the old mark of 66.39 set by South African Frantz Kruger at the Manchester games back in 2002.
Teammate Travis Smikle clinched silver when he measured 63.98, to ensure a Jamaican domination of the two top places.
Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus finished with bronze after throwing 63.61.
Dacres led from the start when he threw 65.55 in the opening round but the winning throw came on his third attempt, allowing him to further distance himself from the field.
The gold added to his triumph at the Pan American Games in Toronto three years ago.
Thomas-Dodd, meanwhile, pulled off an upset by stunning two-time Olympic and four-time Commonwealth champion, Valerie Adams of New Zealand in the women’s shot put.
The 25-year-old, who narrowly missed out on a medal at the London World Championships last year, measured 19.36 metres to post a new national record in the event.
Her’s was an unlikely triumph especially after Adams led for the first four rounds but she came up big on her fifth throw and her rival failed to respond in kind.
Canadian Brittany Crew registered 18.32 to hold on to bronze.
Trinidadian Cleopatra Borel, a former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and a Pan American Games champion three years ago, was fourth in 18.05.
In the women’s sprint hurdles, former world champion Danielle Williams and Jamaican teammate Yannique Thompson took the runners-up medals as Oluwatobiloba Amusan of Nigeria won gold in 12.68.
Williams took silver in 12.78 seconds while Thompson secured bronze, in 12.97.
Natoya Goule also managed to make it onto the podium in the women’s 800 metres, taking bronze in a personal best one minute, 58.82 as South African wonder woman Caster Semenya smashed the Games record to win gold in 1:56.68.
Yesterday’s success carried Jamaica’s gold count to six and their overall medal tally to 22.