2014 Commonwealth Games: Weightlifter Habib Asghar gives Pakistan hope

Finishes third in group B; shooters and swimmers disappoint again.

Afp/our Correspondent July 28, 2014

KARACHI: Pakistan weightlifter Habib Mohammad Asghar fared better than his compatriots in shooting and swimming events on day five of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Asghar finished third out of eight competitors in his group B fixture of men’s 85kg event, while Canadian Darryl Conrad topped the group.

Meanwhile, shooters Uzair Ahmed and Muhammd Shehzad Akhtar came 11th and 12th in men’s 50m pistol qualifying event among 24 contenders, while Nasir Yasin finished 17th out of 40 contenders in the 50m rifle prone men’s qualifiers.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s number one swimmer Kiran Khan and her 12-year-old sister Bisma achieved 29th and 32nd spots respectively out of 35 in the women’s 50m backstroke event.

The male contingent produced almost the same results, with Sikandar Khan finishing 50th and London-based Haris Bandey coming 62nd in their respective heats of the men’s 50m freestyle event.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Cameron McEvoy took first blood in the same event ahead of Aussie rival James Magnussen.

McEvoy was beaten to gold in the 100m freestyle on Sunday night, but qualified for Monday evening’s semi-finals fastest in a time of 22.04 seconds.

“It felt surprisingly good after last night,” said McEvoy. “Mentally it is a bit difficult coming in after last night, but it is only one lap.”

McEvoy already has four medals from the meet in Glasgow as he also took silver in the 200m freestyle and was part of the Aussie team that struck gold in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays.

However, the 20-year-old played down expectations of another medal in Tuesday night’s 50m final.

“It is one of the events that I like to do. I wasn’t expecting to qualify for it at trials so I can just sit back and enjoy it all.”

Magnussen qualified down in fourth behind teammate Matt Abood and England’s Ben Proud, but the 100m freestyle world champion put that down to his exertions in winning gold on Sunday.

Sprinter James advances as Warner shines

Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada progressed to the semi-finals of the men’s 400m at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, winning his heat in 45.52sec.

Arguably the performance of the morning session, however, belonged to Canadian decathlete Damian Warner, who produced a blistering 10.29sec in the opening 100m of the two-day 10-discipline event.

The Games record and personal best gave Warner, the reigning world bronze medallist, a massive 1,025 points to kick off his campaign.

England’s John Lane and South African Willem Coertzen were next fastest with 10.71 and 10.88sec, the only other decathlete to dip under the 11sec barrier being Welshman David Guest.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.

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