Barbadian Sada Williams smashed the 50-second barrier en route to a new Commonwealth Games record, as she unleashed a dominant performance to capture gold in the 400 metres.
Starting from lane six, the 24-year-old executed brilliantly to finish nearly ten metres ahead of her nearest rival, crossing the line in 49.90 to break the 12-year-old record of 50.10 and become the first woman to dip below 50 seconds at a Commonwealth Games.
Malawi’s Simenye Simwaka was the bright spark on the backstretch, offering the only real challenge to Williams. But once she faded, Williams was left to dominate the final 200 metres, Victoria Ohuruogu clocking a personal best 50.72 to take silver and England teammate Jodie Williams finishing with bronze in a season-best 51.26.
“It was all a part of the plan – win the gold medal and get the championship record – so it was all [in] the plan,” said Williams, who took bronze at the World Championships in Eugene last month.
Williams’s teammate Jonathan Jones also tasted success in the corresponding men’s event, claiming bronze in 44.89, as Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga produced a personal best 44.66 to win gold in a dramatic finish at Alexander Stadium.
England’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, who took silver in 44.81, led the field into the stretch with Jones, in lane five, occupying third spot coming off the final turn.
Meanwhile, Bahamian Devynne Charlton raced to silver in the women’s sprint hurdles, clocking 12.58 as recently crowned World champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria stormed to gold in a Games record 12.30.
The 25-year-old broke Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton’s 16-year-old mark of 12.65.
England’s Cindy Sember was timed at 12.59 for bronze.
Jamaican Megan Tapper, a bronze medalist in Tokyo last year, missed out with a fourth-place finish in 12.67.
In the sprint relays, Trinidad and Tobago grabbed silver behind winners England in a season-best 38.70 while Jamaica took bronze in 43.08, as Nigeria won in a personal-best 42.10.