Commonwealth Games: England beat New Zealand in penalty shoot-out to reach women’s hockey final | Adam Gemili crashes from 200m | Commonwealth Games News

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

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

England defeated New Zealand in a penalty shoot-out to stay on track for a maiden Commonwealth Games women’s hockey gold in Birmingham.

Isabel Peter and Hannah Martin scored in the penalty shootout as goalkeeper Maddie Hinch refused to be beaten with a series of brilliant saves.

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

On that occasion, New Zealand won the penalty shootout to progress to the gold medal match, and the Black Sticks also overcame England at the World Cup last month with a 3-1 victory.

Hinch said: “It’s a fairytale for us, to come here and be in the final.

“This is an extremely important step for us to start believing and realizing what we are capable of. It was a great half, I’m just so happy with the team.

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

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in the semi-final penalty shoot-out between England and New Zealand

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in the semi-final penalty shoot-out between England and New Zealand

“As goalkeepers, a lot of the time you take the ball out of the net is pretty unforgivable.

“These are the moments where I really show my stance and try to inspire as many people as possible to wear these weird looking outfits and be the hero for a few minutes.”

Ekimova wins England’s first gold in rhythmic gymnastics

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

The 17-year-old top scored on hoop and clubs to total 112.300, just ahead of silver medalist Anna Sokolova of Cyprus.

It was Ekimova’s second medal of the Birmingham Games after she and Safran Severn and Alice Leeper won a team bronze medal on the first day of competition on Thursday.

Marfa Ekimova won the first golf in England in rhythmic gymnastics

Marfa Ekimova won the first golf in England in rhythmic gymnastics

The bronze represented England’s first rhythmic gymnastics medal since they also won team bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games.

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

“I hope the kids watched and I hope I inspired them to want to be a rhythmic gymnast. I love to perform and for people to enjoy 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 hoop, ball and ribbon finals.

Laugher claimed a second gold

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

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

For Harding, it is his first medal since 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 Laffer with their gold medals won in the men's 3m springboard synchronized final

England’s Anthony Harding and Jack Laffer with their gold medals won in the men’s 3m springboard synchronized final

He said: “I’m disappointed, I mean I put in a pretty good performance, I could have done a bit better, I know Jack is maybe a bit disappointed but I’ve just worked so hard for it.

“I waited many years, I watched it [Laugher] at three other Commonwealth Games, three Olympics, so it’s been a while to get on that kind of stage and he’s a massive help.”

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

“Two in two days, it was great,” Laugher said. “I struggled to sleep last night, I felt a bit worse for wear this morning really, but I think I put in a good performance.

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

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

Gemili crashed from 200 m | Muir reaches another finish

Adam Gemily crashes in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. He failed to reach Saturday’s final after running just 20.97 seconds to place fourth in his semi-final on Friday.

It is yet another disappointment for Gemily, who crashed out of the heats at the World Championships in Eugene last month.

Then he initially blamed the media spotlight on his controversial former coach, Rana Rader, who is under investigation by the US Center for Safe Sports following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, for influencing his form and mindset.

Adam Gemili lost in his 200m semi-final

Adam Gemili lost in his 200m semi-final

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

“I know there were issues with me this year, it took a toll on me,” said Gemily, who can still compete in Saturday’s 4x100m relay heats. “Physically I’m fine, but there were a lot of things that affected my training and my mental side.

“It’s something new this season and I really struggled to get it right. I didn’t know how big the difference was. It’s for me to go home and find some happiness again.”

European champion Jarnell Hughes qualified for the final, winning the semi-final in 20.32 seconds. In the women’s semi-final, Elaine Thompson-Hera won in 22.63 seconds.

Laura Muir is eyeing an elusive Commonwealth Games medal after reaching her second final. The Scot finished fifth in her 1500m heat on Friday morning to reach Sunday’s final at the Alexander Stadium.

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

Laura Muir reached the 1500m final

Laura Muir reached the 1500m final

A Commonwealth Games medal is the only one missing from Muir’s collection after she finished 11th in the 1500m – after being cut – in 2014 and skipped the Gold Coast four years ago to focus on vets take your exams.

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

“It was good to get the legs moving after Tuesday (800m heat), it feels like a long time ago and it’s good to qualify and save as much energy as I can.”

Her Scotland team-mate Gemma Rickey also qualified, along with England’s Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant.

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

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