Bajan Sada Williams Breaks Commonwealth Games Record to Win Gold in 400 Meters

BIRMINGHAM, England – Barbadian Sada Williams smashed the 50-second barrier en route to a new Commonwealth Games record, as she unleashed a dominant performance to capture gold in the 400 meters here Sunday.

sadawilBarbadian Sada Williams celebrates on the podium after winning 400 metres gold on Sunday.Starting from lane six, the 24-year-old executed brilliantly to finish nearly ten meters ahead of her nearest rival, crossing the line in 49.90 to break the 12-year-old record of 50.10 and become the first woman to dip below 50 seconds at a Commonwealth Games.

Malawi’s Simenye Simwaka was the bright spark on the backstretch, offering the only real challenge to Williams. But once she faded, Williams was left to dominate the final 200 meters, Victoria Ohuruogu clocking a personal best 50.72 to take silver and England teammate Jodie Williams finishing with bronze in a season-best 51.26.

“It was all a part of the plan – win the gold medal and get the championship record – so it was all [in] the plan,” said Williams, who took bronze at the World Championships in Eugene last month.

“I ran the race exactly how I wanted it to be.

“This has been my best season yet and I’m looking forward to more great things to come for the rest of the season.”

Williams’s teammate Jonathan Jones also tasted success in the corresponding men’s event, claiming bronze in 44.89, as Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga produced a personal best 44.66 to win gold in a dramatic finish at Alexander Stadium.

England’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, who took silver in 44.81, led the field into the stretch with Jones, in lane five, occupying third spot coming off the final turn.

The Barbadian seemed to be in for silver when he overhauled second placed Kenyan Boniface Ontuga Mweresa with 40 meters to run but Samukonga burst through in lane eight to nip both Hudson-Smith and Jones.

“I am very proud. I know this season was long and I knew this was my last 400 so I’m grateful to leave with a podium finish obviously,” said the 23-year-old Jones.

Meanwhile, Bahamian Devynne Charlton raced to silver in the women’s sprint hurdles, clocking 12.58 as recently crowned World champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria stormed to gold in a Games record 12.30.

The 25-year-old broke Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton’s 16-year-old mark of 12.65.

England’s Cindy Sember was timed at 12.59 for bronze.

Jamaican Megan Tapper, a silver medalist in Tokyo last year, missed out with a fourth place finish in 12.67.

Bermuda were handed bronze through Jah-Nhai Perinchief who measured 16.92 meters in the men’s triple jump, won by Indian Eldhose Paul (17.03) with teammate Abdulla Aboobacker Narangolintevi (17.02) second.

In the sprint relays, Trinidad and Tobago grabbed silver behind winners England in a season-best 38.70 while Jamaica took bronze in 43.08, as Nigeria won in a personal-best 42.10.