Commonwealth Games: England beat New Zealand in shootout to reach women’s hockey final | Adam Gemili crashes out of 200m | Commonwealth Games News

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph penalty as England win shootout in Commonwealth Games women's hockey semi-final

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph penalty as England win shootout in Commonwealth Games women’s hockey semi-final

England beat New Zealand in a shootout to stay on course for a maiden Commonwealth Games gold medal in women’s hockey in Birmingham.

Isabelle Petter and Hannah Martin scored in the shootout as goaltender Maddie Hinch refused to be beaten with a string of brilliant saves.

The two teams could not be separated in 60 minutes of intense hockey, playing to a goalless draw as they did in the bronze medal game in Australia four years ago.

On that occasion, New Zealand won the shootout to advance to the gold medal game, and the Black Sticks also got the better of England at the World Cup last month with a victory 3-1.

Hinch said: “It’s a fairy tale for us to come here and end up in the final.

“It’s a hugely important step for us to start believing and realizing what we are capable of. It was a stunning semi-final, I’m so delighted for the team.

Asked about the penalties, Hinch added: “I love them. You have to do it, you know it’s going to be a tough gig.

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in a semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in a semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

“As goalkeepers most of the time you take the ball out of the net, it’s quite unforgiving.

“These are the times to really show the position, and I try to inspire as many people as possible to wear these weird outfits and be the hero for a few minutes.”

Ekimova wins England’s first ever rhythmic gymnastics gold medal

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics by winning the all-around title at Arena Birmingham.

The 17-year-old posted the top score in hoop and clubs for a total of 112.300, narrowly edging out silver medalist Anna Sokolova of Cyprus.

It was Ekimova’s second medal at the Birmingham Games after teaming up with Saffron Severn and Alice Leaper to win a team bronze on the first day of competition on Thursday.

Marfa Ekimova won England's first-ever golf course in rhythmic gymnastics

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first-ever golf course in rhythmic gymnastics

The bronze was England’s first medal in rhythmic gymnastics since she also won a team bronze medal at the Delhi Games in 2010.

Ekimova said: “It’s amazing and a dream come true. It was a roaring crowd and everything a gymnast could have wished for.

“I hope the kids have watched and I hope I have inspired them to want to become a rhythmic gymnast. I love to perform and for people to appreciate my performance and my passion, that means everything.”

Ekimova has more chances to add to her medal tally on Saturday after qualifying for all but one of the individual apparatus finals in hoop, ball and ribbon.

Laughter wins its second gold medal

Jack Laugher was full of praise after winning his second Commonwealth Games gold medal, winning the men’s synchronized three-metre springboard event alongside partner Anthony Harding.

In what is a relatively new partnership between the pair, they topped the leaderboard at Friday’s event with 438.33, winning by a whopping 61.56 points.

For Harding, this is his first medal on his Commonwealth debut and the 22-year-old was delighted to finally have the chance to show what he can do.

England's Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher with their gold medals won in the Men's 3m Synchronized Springboard Final

England’s Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher with their gold medals won in the Men’s 3m Synchronized Springboard Final

He said: “I’m ecstatic with it, I mean I put in a pretty good performance, I could have done a little better, I know Jack might be a little disappointed, but I worked so hard for it.

“I waited many years, I watched it [Laugher] to three other Commonwealths, three Olympics, so it’s been a while for me to get on this kind of stage and he’s been a big help to me.”

Laugher entered the competition with plenty of experience in the discipline having won it at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 alongside partner Chris Mears.

He also won gold in the individual one-metre springboard on Thursday and has a chance to add a third on the individual three-metre springboard on Saturday, but was encouraged by Friday’s performance.

“Two in two days was awesome,” Laugher said. “I had a little trouble falling asleep last night, I felt a little worse this morning, but I think I put in a good performance.

“Anthony did a great job and it was a huge ask to come here to his first Commonwealth Games in front of a big crowd and do it consistently and solidly, so it’s a very, very good performance for a lot of reasons.

“Things need to improve, things need to improve, but overall really happy with the performance and two gold medals is obviously the best I can ask for.”

Gemili crashes over 200m | Muir reaches another final

Adam Gemili crashed from the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. He failed to reach Saturday’s final after running just 20.97 seconds to finish fourth in his semifinal on Friday.

It’s another disappointment for Gemili, who was knocked out of the playoffs at the world championships in Eugene last month.

Then he first blamed the media spotlight on his controversial ex-coach Rana Reider, who is being investigated by the US Center for SafeSport after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, for impacting on his form and state of mind.

Adam Gemili loses his 200m semi-final

Adam Gemili loses his 200m semi-final

The 28-year-old, who was based in Florida, parted ways with Reider days before the Birmingham Games and knows he needs a change.

“I know there have been issues with me this year, it has affected me,” said Gemili, who could still compete in the 4x100m relay heats on Saturday. “Physically I’m fine but there have been a lot of things that have affected my training and my mental side.

“It’s something that’s been new this season and I’ve really struggled to get it right. I didn’t know how much of a difference it really made. It’s up to me to come home and to find some happiness.”

European champion Zharnel Hughes qualified for the final, winning his semi-final in 20.32 seconds. In the women’s semifinal, Elaine Thompson-Herah won in 22.63 seconds.

Laura Muir is aiming for an elusive Commonwealth Games medal after reaching her second final. The Scot finished fifth in her 1,500m race on Friday morning to reach Sunday’s final at the Alexander Stadium.

She ran four minutes 14.11 seconds as she moved through the morning session in Birmingham, having also reached Saturday’s 800m final.

Laura Muir qualified for the 1500m final

Laura Muir qualified for the 1500m final

A Commonwealth Games medal is the only one missing from Muir’s collection after finishing 11th in the 1,500m – after being cut – in 2014 and skipping the Gold Coast four years ago to focus on his veterinary exams.

“This is the last one. If I can get not one but two, that would be very special,” she said.

“It was nice to move your legs after Tuesday (800m heat), it’s been a long time, and it’s nice to qualify and save as much energy as possible.”

Her Scottish teammate Jemma Reekie also qualified with Britain’s Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant.

England’s Cindy Sember ran in 12.67 seconds to win her 100m hurdles heat, while in the long jump Jazmin Sawyers (6.80m), Lorraine Ugen (6.79m) and Abigail Irozuru ( 6.59 m) all reached the final.

Matt Hudson-Smith, aiming to build on his bronze medal in Eugene, won his 400m semi-final in 45.77 seconds to seal his spot in Sunday’s final.

England’s Lizzie Bird also won silver in the 3,000m steeplechase and Naomi Metzger took bronze in the triple jump after a personal best 14.37m.

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