Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: Jazz strikes right tune to seal place in Welsh history

By Gavin McCafferty

An emotional Jazz Carlin could not comprehend the enormity of her achievement after becoming the first Welsh woman to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal for 40 years.

Carlin took apart the 800 metres freestyle field to win her country's first swimming gold at Glasgow 2014 and their third in all sports.

The 23-year-old was the first of three home nations gold medals on the penultimate night of action at Tollcross.

Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd and Yorkshire teenager Sophie Taylor both took gold for England, who also saw Aimee Willmott and Adam Peaty win silver medals and Adam Barrett take bronze.

But Scotland suffered disappointment with no medals despite having representatives in five finals.

However, the night belonged to Carlin, who added gold to the silver and bronze she won in Delhi four years ago, and emulated the victory of her countrywoman Pat Beavan in 1974.

Carlin was crying even before she stepped up to the podium and wiped away tears throughout the medal ceremony.

"It is amazing," said Carlin, who next races in the 400m freestyle today.

"It has not sunk in yet. Hearing the Welsh national anthem was incredible. I was trying to sing it but I was way too emotional and was crying.

"Seeing my family, and everyone who has come to watch, it has been an amazing day and hopefully I can carry it on."

Carlin came home more than two seconds ahead of New Zealand's Lauren Boyle in eight minutes, 18.11 seconds.

Meanwhile, Curtis Coulter and Danielle Hill, representing Northern Ireland in swimming, failed to make the finals of their respective 50m events.

Coulter managed to cut 0.21 seconds off his 50m freestyle record, finishing in seventh place in his semi-final in 23.02 seconds.

Larne's fourteen-year-old prospect Hill was sixth in her 50m backstroke semi-final in a time of 30.87 seconds, which was 0.10 seconds slower than she recorded in her heat.

Both Coulter and Hill had previously produced impressive performances to book their semi-final places in Glasgow.

Coulter managed to take 0.03seconds off his Northern Ireland 50m freestyle record as he clinched a time of 23.23 seconds to qualify 16th.

Hill managed 30.77 seconds in her 50m backstroke heat.

Paralympic champion Bethany Firth was over two seconds slower than Hill's 50m backstroke time with 32.80 seconds.

David Thompson and Conor Munn were unable to qualify for the 50m freestyle semi-finals after recording respective times of 23.79 seconds and 23.88 seconds.

Sycerika McMahon missed out on a place in the 200m butterfly final.

The Portaferry woman, who has struggled in her specialist breaststroke events during the Games, was a fraction outside her personal best for the event as she finished in 14th place in a time of 2:15.53.

Qualifying for the final was never a realistic option for McMahon with the last qualifying berth going to Canada's Katerine Savard with a 2:11.31 finishing time.

Fellow Northern Ireland team-mate Gemma Kane finished 17th in the event, clocking a time of 2:18.39.

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