GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Diamanto Evripidou has given Cyprus its sixth gold medal of the games, winning the individual all-around title in rhythmic gymnastics.
Katherine Uchida of Canada took silver and Kwan Dict Weng of Malaysia the bronze. Earlier, Marios Georgiou won two golds for Cyprus in artistic gymnastics, winning the men’s floor exercise and parallel bars.
No comeback for Usain Bolt
The newly-retired Usain Bolt left no doubt about his future, which doesn’t include a return to elite sprinting.
Asked at a news conference at the Commonwealth Games if it’s possible the world might see him at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, — “am I right, or am I wrong?,” a journalist asked — Bolt replied: “Very wrong.”
Also asked if he felt that his 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds would be broken, he said: “I just hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon.”
Bolt, on a promotional visit to the Gold Coast, also said he was serious about playing professional soccer. In March, Bolt worked out with German soccer club Borussia Dortmund as part of his training regimen for a charity match at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester on June 10.
The 31-year-old Jamaican was also asked if he ever reflects on his career.
“For sure, definitely,” Bolt said. “My best friend and I always say, ‘Can you believe what we have done?’ I used to play football in the street, with bottles, anything I could get my hands on. I ran about in bare feet. So I am very happy if I have been able to inspire people.”
Elsewhere around the Commonwealth Games on Thursday:
Annie Last won gold in women’s mountain biking, finishing 48 seconds ahead of England teammate Evie Richards on the hinterland Nerang State Forest course. Last finished the demanding 27.6-kilometer course in 1 hour, 18.02 seconds, with Richards taking silver in 1:18.50. Hayley Smith won the bronze in 1:20.26, just ahead of another Canadian, Emily Batty.
New Zealand riders dominated the 32.2-kilomteter men’s event, with Samuel Gaze edging teammate Anton Cooper for gold. Both finished in 1:17.36 Alan Hatherly was 20 seconds behind for bronze.
Gaze won despite being delayed by a tire puncture on his final lap.
“I lost about 15 seconds but I was lucky to get it back on that last lap,” Gaze said. “I just had to believe in myself and keep telling myself I could do it.”
Here’s some other news from the games:
Australians Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann beat a Canadian pair to win the first beach volleyball gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. McHugh and Schumann beat Samuel Pedlow and Sam Schachter 21-19, 18-21, 18-16.
“I can’t believe that just happened after being behind 9-12 (in the third set),” Schumann said. “We thought we’d just ride it out and see what happened.”
Pedlow said it was a disappointing finish for the Canadians.
“We control our own destiny,” he said. “We were in control for the second set and most of the third. We unfortunately let them back in.”
In morning preliminaries at the track, two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya continued her quest for a 800-1,500-meter double when she posted the fastest time in the heats of the shorter race. The South African flag bearer won the 1,500 in a games record time earlier in the week and won the first of three 800 heats in 1 minute, 59.26 seconds.
Alexandra Bell of England and Eglay Nalyanya of Kenya posted personal bests to finish second and third in the heats. Kenya’s Margaret Nyairera Wambui, the Olympic bronze medalist, advanced as the winner in the second heat in 2:00.60.
Valerie Adams kept alive her bid for a fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal in the shot put when she posted the leading mark of 18.52 meters in the preliminaries.
Anti-doping officials conducted more than 3,000 tests ahead of the Commonwealth Games in an effort to weed out athletes who might be cheating well ahead of their competitions.
David Sharpe, chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, said 2,600 tests were conducted on Australian athletes and 500 more on international athletes, some of whom were only at the qualifying stage for the April 4-15 games on the Gold Coast.
The testing led to pre-games sanctions for some athletes.
Dr. Mani Jegathesan of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s medical commission said doping samples from athletes at the Gold Coast Games would be stored for 10 years in order to be available for later retesting. Jegathesan said anti-doping authorities took into account the “risk element” and used intelligence reports so that “every test counts.”
Officials would not say how many tests were being conducted during the games.
A men’s squash pairing from Sierra Leone are the latest athletes to miss their event at the Gold Coast games. Sierra Leone’s Ernest Jombla and Yusif Mansaray did not appear for their doubles match on Thursday morning. Their absence meant India’s Ramit Tandon and Vikram Malhotra got a walkover in Pool F.
Games officials confirmed a Rwandan athlete, two Ugandans and potentially one Ghanaian had also left the village without notifying team officials and their whereabouts was unknown.
Cameroon officials earlier revealed eight members of the 42-person squad had gone missing, including two boxers who failed to appear for their events.
Marc Potts of Northern Ireland, who failed to finish the mountain bike race, has already competed in the track cycling (13th in the scratch race) and has entered the road race on Saturday, making him the only cyclist to compete in all three cycling disciplines at these games.
“It’s a good opening preparation,” Potts said of Thursday’s race. “I won’t do any more really hard training before the weekend.”
By DENNIS PASSA , AP Sports Writer