GLASGOW, Scotland – A season best leap of 26 feet, 3 inches (8.00) placed Australian Fabrice Lapierre fourth in the Commonwealth Games long jump final held at Hampden Park Stadium on Wednesday.
In the women’s 200m prelims Dominique Duncan, running for Nigeria, placed third in her heat with a time of 23.89 seconds from lane two to earn an automatic advancement to the semifinal on Thursday (12:07 p.m. CT). The final of the 200m will also be held on Thursday (2:45 p.m. CT).
Lapierre, the defending champion from 2010, challenged for his third Commonwealth Games medal early on as he produced his best mark in the opening round of the long jump.
Injuring his hamstring on his first jump Lapierre passed his attempts in the next two rounds. Then he had a pair of fouls in rounds four and five. On his final attempt Lapierre hit a mark of 25-10.25 (7.88).
After the qualifying round on Tuesday, Lapierre predicted a mark of 26-11 (8.20) or better would be needed to win gold in Scotland.
England’s Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, hit the predicted distance of 26-11 (8.20) to claim the victory. South African jumpers grabbed silver and bronze with the tandem of Zarck Visser (26-7.75|8.12) and Rushwahl Samaai (26-6.25|8.08).
Lapierre was just 3.5 inches away from capturing a third medal in Commonwealth Games competition. In addition to winning 2010 gold in Delhi, India, he also earned a 2006 bronze medal from Melbourne. Finishing fifth, a quarter inch behind Lapierre, was Chris Tomlinson of England with a 26-2.75 (7.99) while another Aussie, Robbie Crowther, placed sixth with a 26-1.5 (7.96).
With a leap of 26-3 it marks the tenth consecutive year for 30-year-old Lapierre to produce a jump over eight meters and the 12th season to accomplish that distance in his stellar career.