08 April 2018

Dempsey McGuigan produced one of the throws of his life to come a sensational sixth in the men’s hammer on the opening day of athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games. 

The Northern Ireland international threw 70.24 metres in the fifth round of the competition in Carrara Stadium before watching Nick Miller strike gold in a British record of 80.36m with Australia’s Matt Denny taking silver and Scotland’s Mark Dry bronze. 

It was an ultra-consistent series from McGuigan who will now return to complete his university degree in Mississippi before the summer. 

And delivering a best when it counted bodes well, the 24-year-old believes. 

“It was my second-best ever throw,” he said. “I’m happy with the place and the distance - and with doing it on this stage. I’ve had it in the past where I’ve let the stadium and the crowd get to me. After warm-ups and after my first throws, I felt I could get close to my best. There is a lot of pressure but as long as you get a decent early throw, you can push on.”

Amy Foster came agonisingly close to a spot in the women’s 100 metres final, coming fourth in the toughest semi in 11.54 seconds. 

It left the Irish record holder, who was second in her heat, ranked tenth overall – with the 200m still to come, beginning on Tuesday morning. 

And the switch from indoors to blazing sun went better than hoped, she declared. 

“It was really fortunate that Athletics Northern Ireland brought us out early to prepare for the heat,” Foster said. “I had a race last week which was definitely blowing off the cobwebs for the 100 metres. At 60m then, I went ‘oops, there’s another 40'. Whereas here, I felt ready. Now I will do the 200. I might not enjoy it. But is another opportunity to go out in front of the crowd.”