In the mix: Australia edges England for team triathlon gold

(AP) — Finishing one of the showcase events for gender equity at the Commonwealth Games, Jake Birtwhistle grabbed a boxing kangaroo flag and carried it across the line to clinch the triathlon mixed team relay for Australia.
The team of Gillian Backhouse, Matt Hauser, Ashleigh Gentle and Birtwhistle won the mixed team event at the Broadwater in 1 hour, 17 minutes and 36 seconds on Saturday afternoon, with England settling for silver and New Zealand capturing bronze.
England won the inaugural event at the Glasgow Games four years ago but it was the hosts who were too strong this time, with Gentle turning a 15-second deficit into a 39-second lead during the third leg.
“I can’t believe I’ve got a Commonwealth Games gold medal and to feel as though I gave so much to the team as well, it’s really satisfying,” said Gentle, who missed out on a podium finish in the individual event. “I’m just so glad I was able to perform for the team.”
It means the Brownlee brothers leave the Gold Coast without a gold medal, with world champion Alistair and Jonathan combining with Jess Learmonth and Vicky Holland to get the silver. The brothers missed out on the medals in the individual event.
“I thought even if I got it together it would be close. We talked through every combination last night, and we knew it would be with Australia but we didn’t pick this,” Alistair Brownlee said. “Jess had a fantastic race and that was amazing. I was a little disappointed but it was still a good race.”
The mixed relay is on the program for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
England won both para triathlon events, with Jade Jones winning the women’s race and Joseph Townsend winning the men’s gold.
In other events on Day 3 at the games:
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GYMNASTICS GOLD — Nile Wilson has beaten fellow Englishman James Hall in the individual all-around final to claim his second gymnastics gold medal of the games.
The England pair and Marios Georgiou of Cyprus went into the final rotation separated by just 0.025 points, and all three finished cleanly on the high bar.
Wilson, an Olympic bronze medalist on the horizontal bar, did just enough to win with a combined 84.950.
“That was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had,” said Wilson, who helped the England team defend the men’s team title earlier in the program.
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SQUASHED — Tesni Evans of Wales has beaten top seed Laura Massaro to move into the Commonwealth Games women’s squash semifinals against another English player, Sarah-Jane Perry.
The 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13 win at the Oxenford Studios court continued a recent run of wins for Evans against Massaro, including the world championships in December and the British National Championships two months ago. Massaro, the 2014 silver medalist at Glasgow in 2014, had won their previous five meetings.
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OUT OF CYCLE — World champion Matt Glaetzer, the fastest qualifier and favorite to win the men’s sprint, was upset and outsmarted in the second round by Muhammad Sahrom of Malaysia.
“I tried to get through with minimum effort. The speed just wasn’t there,” the Australian rider said. “It’s devastating. It was a nightmare unfolding with three-quarters of a lap to go. I knew I’d stuffed it and had to give it all I had to try and fight (but) the race was gone by then.”
Glaetzer qualified fastest in a games record time but said an “elementary error” cost him badly in the ride-off against Sahrom, who had been the slowest of the 16 qualifiers.
Sahrom progressed and said he’d treasure the memories of the upset result.
“Matthew Glaetzer is the current world champion. He’s absolutely fast,” Sahrom said. “I’m very honored with what I did today.”