Commonwealth Games: Silver for Eliza McCartney, Dame Valerie Adams

Eliza McCartney
Eliza McCartney celebrates her silver medal at the Gold Coast. Photo credit: Photosport

Within minutes of each other, pole vaulter Eliza McCartney and shotput legend Dame Valerie have fallen painfully short of gold medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

McCartney, the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medallist, entered the competition with the expectations of the nation on her shoulders and made a great start.

She was the last to enter the competition, easily succeeding at 4.55m with her opening attempt.

While her rivals were jumping - and missing - often the Kiwi bade her time, passing 4.60m and clearing easily again at 4.65m to break the Games record.

Only Canadian Alysha Newman matched that height and when McCartney succeeded at 4.70m, Newman edged ahead with a last-ditch clearance at 4.75m.

That left McCartney having to clear 4.80m to win and with only two attempts to do so. Both attempts saw her soar above the bar, only to fall on top of it each time.

Newman, a regular visitor to New Zealand inrecent seasons, took the gold and a new event record.

Dame Valerie Adams
Dame Valerie Adams and daughter Kimoana Photo credit: Photosport

Meanwhile, Dame Valerie could not add a fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal, but snatched silver to add to her already impressive career.

Just five months after giving birth to her first child - daughter Kimoana - the woman who has dominated her event for the past decade opened with an 18.70m effort, her best of the season.

But she could not improve and had no answer when Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd hurled a national record of 19.36m in the fifth round.

Afterwards, Dame Val said the medal felt like a gold, given the challenges she had faced coming back to the sport in such a short time.

With all the attention on McCartney and Dame Valerie, Kiwi distance runner Jake Robertson snuck under the radar, breaking the national 10,000m record with 27m 30.90s to finish fifth.

The performance took almost three seconds off the previous mark set by brother Zane at the 2016 Rio Olympics.