Commonwealth Games : Thompson Gives Gold Shoulder to the Officials : He Wins Third Straight Decathlon Title, Then Throws Away the Sponsor's Bib

Associated Press

England's Daley Thompson moved from one controversy to another but swept to a third successive Commonwealth Games decathlon gold medal in the pouring rain Monday.

For the second straight day, Thompson delighted the spectators but angered officials with his behavior.

He won 8 of the 10 decathlon events, slipping up in the discus and taking things easy in the 1,500 meters, when he was already assured of adding another gold medal to his collection.

He had trouble in the pole vault, where he needed a third and final attempt to clear 15 feet 9 inches, but finished with 8,663 points, only four off his best for the year and almost 500 ahead of his nearest rival, Canada's Dave Steen.

But away from the track, Thompson again upset officials.

When games press liaison officer Colin Shields requested him to attend a press conference, the decathlete replied: "I bloody won't."

The incident came one day after Thompson, 27, had angered the games' main sponsor by scratching out its name from his running vest.

The company, the international Guinness brewing firm, invested $3 million into the games and complained about Thompson's action.

Thompson wore his bib correctly Monday but after completing the last event of the decathlon, he ripped off the vest and tossed it aside.

On the fifth day of the boycott-plagued games, another Englishman, Adrian Moorhouse, pulled off a major upset in the pool, beating the defending champion and world record-holder, Victor Davis, in the 200-meter breaststroke.

It was the Canadian's first defeat over the distance in a major international championship since winning the Olympic title two years ago in Los Angeles.

But another Canadian, Allison Higson, did her country proud. At age 13, Higson won her second gold medal of the games in the final of the 100-meter breaststroke.

On Sunday, Higson won the 200-meter breaststroke to become the youngest Commonwealth Games champion in any sport.

At the halfway stage of the 10-day games, Australia, England and Canada led a battle for the most medals.

England moved ahead for the first time in the overall count with 58, one more than Australia. But both had 21 golds. Canada had 44 medals, including 20 gold.

Scotland and Northern Ireland each picked up its first gold medal of the games.

Liz Lynch, encouraged by a partisan crowd and watched for the first time by her parents, won the women's 10,000 meters for Scotland, the first time the event has been staged in the Commonwealth Games.

And Northern Ireland's lightly regarded Phil Beattie upset the favorites in the men's 400-meter hurdles.

Queen Elizabeth II and members of her family toured the various Games venues, and the Queen handed out medals in swimming and weightlifting.

Earlier, Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram warmed up for the first of two eagerly awaited Edinburgh showdowns by reaching the final of the 800 meters, to be held Thursday.

But Coe, the 800-meter world record-holder, struggled through both qualifying rounds and said he had never felt so bad in a race.

He was sent to bed by the England team doctor, Malcolm Reed.

Reed said Coe had a virus. "I think his chances of recovery by Thursday are good," he said. "I give credit to the man to be able to perform at that level when he was below par."

Coe and Cram are entered in both the 800 and 1,500 meters.

Australia's Debbie Flintoff became the first double gold medalist of the games on the track, retaining her 400-meter hurdles title to add to her 400-meter title.

Another Australian, Gael Martin, won the women's shotput, eight years after taking the same title when the games were held in Edmonton. Martin promptly announced her retirement after Monday's effort.

Australia won the men's springboard diving when Shaun Panayi produced a spectacular final effort to snatch the gold from Canada's John Nash. But Canada won the women's platform competition through Debbie Fuller, who beat the defending champion.

In shooting, two games records were set.

Australia's Phillip Adams and Rod Hack outscored their rivals to win the center fire pistol pairs competition, and Canada's Alain Marion and Wilf Baldwin took the full bore rifle pairs.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World