Commonwealth Games: England defeats New Zealand in shootout to reach women’s ice hockey final |  Adam Gemili falls from 200m |  Commonwealth Games news

Commonwealth Games: England defeats New Zealand in shootout to reach women’s ice hockey final | Adam Gemili falls from 200m | Commonwealth Games news

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph's penalty as England win the semi-final shootout in women's hockey at the Commonwealth Games

Maddie Hinch saves Hope Ralph’s penalty as England win the semi-final shootout in women’s hockey at the Commonwealth Games

England beat New Zealand in a penalty shootout and stayed on course for a first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in women’s hockey in Birmingham.

Isabelle Petter and Hannah Martin scored in the shoot-out when goalkeeper Maddie Hinch couldn’t be beaten with a series of brilliant saves.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in 60 minutes of intense hockey and played out a goalless draw, just like they did in the bronze medal game in Australia four years ago.

On that occasion, New Zealand won the shootout to reach the gold medal game and the Black Sticks also defeated England in a 3-1 win at the World Cup last month.

Hinch said: “It’s fairy tale stuff for us to come here and find ourselves in the finals.

“This is a tremendously important step for us to believe and see what we are capable of. It was a great semi-final, I’m very happy for the team.

When asked about penalties, Hinch added: “I absolutely love them. You have to, you know it’s going to be a tough gig.

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in the semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

Hannah Martin celebrates scoring the winning goal in the semi-final shootout between England and New Zealand

“As a goalkeeper, you often pick the ball out of the net quite unforgivingly.

“Those are the moments when you can really show your position and I try to inspire as many people as possible to wear these weird looking outfits and be the hero for a few minutes.”

Ekimova wins England’s first-ever gold in rhythmic gymnastics

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in rhythmic gymnastics when she took the all-around title at Arena Birmingham.

The 17-year-old had the highest score on hoops and clubs with 112,300, just ahead of Cyprus silver medalist Anna Sokolova.

It was Ekimova’s second medal at the Birmingham Games after she teamed with Saffron Severn and Alice Leaper to win a team bronze medal on the opening day of the competition on Thursday.

Marfa Ekimova won England's first-ever golf in rhythmic gymnastics

Marfa Ekimova won England’s first-ever golf in rhythmic gymnastics

That bronze was England’s first medal in rhythmic gymnastics since they also won team bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games.

Ekimova said: “It’s incredible and a dream come true. It was a roaring crowd and everything a gymnast could ever ask for.

“I hope the kids were watching and I hope I’ve inspired them to become rhythmic gymnasts. I love performing and it means everything to the people who enjoy my performance and my passion.”

Ekimova has another chance to add to her medal tally on Saturday after qualifying for all but one of the individual apparatus finals in hoop, ball and ribbon.

Laughing takes second gold

Jack Laugher was full of praise after sealing his second Commonwealth Games gold medal by winning the men’s synchronized three meter springboard event alongside partner Anthony Harding.

In a relatively new partnership between the two, they topped the leaderboard in Friday’s event with 438.33 and won by a whopping 61.56 points.

This is Harding’s first medal on his Commonwealth debut and the 22-year-old was delighted to finally have the chance to show what he can do.

England's Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher won with their gold medals in the men's synchronized 3m springboard final

England’s Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher won with their gold medals in the men’s synchronized 3m springboard final

He said: “I’m over the moon with it, I mean I put in a pretty good performance, I could have done a little bit better, I know Jack might be a little disappointed, but I just worked so hard for it.

“I have waited for many years, I have watched him [Laugher] at three other Commonwealths, three Olympics, so it took me a while to get on that kind of stage and he’s a big help.”

Laugher came into the competition with plenty of experience in the discipline, having won it alongside partner Chris Mears at Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast 2018.

He also won gold in Thursday’s one-meter springboard and has a chance to add a third in Saturday’s three-meter springboard, but was encouraged by Friday’s performance.

“Two in two days, it was great,” Laugher said. “I had a little trouble falling asleep last night, really felt a little worse this morning but I think I put on a good performance.

“Anthony has done a great job and coming out here in front of a big crowd at his first Commonwealth games and being consistent and solid has been a challenge, so it’s a really, really good performance for a lot of reasons.

“Things need to be improved, things need to get better but overall really happy with the performance and two gold medals is obviously the best I could wish for.”

Gemili falls from 200m | Muir reaches another final

Adam Gemili fell in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. He didn’t make it into Saturday’s final after running just 20.97 seconds in his semifinal on Friday to finish fourth.

It’s another disappointment for Gemili, who was eliminated from the heats at last month’s World Championships in Eugene.

He then first blamed his controversial ex-coach Rana Reider, who is under investigation by the US Center for SafeSport after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, for interfering with his form and mindset.

Adam Gemili loses in his 200m semifinal

Adam Gemili loses in his 200m semifinal

The 28-year-old, who was based in Florida, split from Reider just days before the Birmingham games and knows he needs a change.

“I know I’ve had issues this year, it’s affected me,” said Gemili, who may still compete in the 4x100m relay on Saturday. “Physically I’m fine but there was a lot that affected my training and the mental side for me.

“That’s something that was new this season and I’ve really struggled to get that right. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it really makes. It’s for me to come home and find some happiness again.”

European Champion Zharnel Hughes qualified for the final and won his semi-final in 20.32 seconds. In the women’s semifinals, Elaine Thompson-Herah prevailed and won in 22.63 seconds.

Laura Muir is eyeing an elusive medal at the Commonwealth Games after reaching her second final. The Scot finished fifth in her 1500m on Friday morning and reached Sunday’s final at the Alexander Stadium.

She ran four minutes and 14.11 seconds as she picked up her pace in the morning session in Birmingham, having also reached Saturday’s 800m final.

Laura Muir has reached the 1500m final

Laura Muir has reached the 1500m final

A Commonwealth Games medal is the only one missing from Muir’s collection, having finished 11th in the 1500m in 2014 – after being clipped – and skipping the Gold Coast four years ago to focus on her vet exams.

“This is the last one. If I could get not just one, but two, that would be very special,” she said.

“It was nice to get my legs moving after Tuesday (800m), it feels like a long time ago and it’s nice to qualify and save as much energy as possible.”

Scotland teammate Jemma Reekie qualified, as did England’s Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant.

England’s Cindy Sember ran 12.67 seconds to win her 100m hurdles run, while in the long jump Jazmin Sawyers (6.80m), Lorraine Ugen (6.79m) and Abigail Irozuru (6.59m) all did reached the final.

Matt Hudson-Smith, looking to build on his bronze medal in Eugene, won his 400m semifinal in 45.77 seconds to secure his place in Sunday’s final.

England’s Lizzie Bird also took silver in the 3,000m steeplechase and Naomi Metzger took bronze in the triple jump with a personal best of 14.37m.

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