Lewis-Francis beats slip-up to take silver

ENGLAND’S Mark Lewis-Francis continued his renaissance by claiming Commonwealth silver in the 100m after a gritty sprint in Delhi.

Lewis-Francis, who revitalised a stagnant career with European Championship silver in July, was hampered by a slow start caused by his blocks slipping backwards. But he refused to give in and powered back through the field, finishing second only to Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke, who clocked a time of 10.12 seconds.

“I would’ve won that,” said the 28-year-old. “My blocks slipped, that’s why it looks like I’m so far behind. I had to run deep within just to get a medal there. That’s my second silver medal of the season and I’m over the moon with it, but there’s just that little bit of disappointment knowing what could have been.”

Elsewhere at the Games yesterday, star swimmer Rebecca Adlington beat illness to win the 800m freestyle and add Commonwealth gold to her Olympic title.

Adlington is one of several on the English team to fall ill amid suggestions water in the practice pool could be contaminated. Indian officials are investigating.

The 21-year-old did not struggle once the race was underway, however, making a superb start to lay the foundations for comfortable victory.

“With everything that’s going on here you don’t want to push yourself too hard,” she said. “It’s all mental pressure, and I put the most on myself because I want it so badly. The 400m [today] will be a big ask.”

England’s men’s and women’s compound archery teams both also won gold, while Stevan Walton took first place in the double trap individual shooting event.

Back in the pool, England’s Simon Burnett took silver in the 100m freestyle, as did team-mates Ellen Gandy in the women’s 100m butterfly and Joe Roebuck in the 400m individual medley.

DALLAGLIO’S LOOK AHEAD | LONDON CLUBS PREPARE FOR EUROPEAN KICK-OFF

CLERMONT AUVERGNE V SARACENS
(Heineken Cup, Saturday)
Saracens are a very tough, strong side and they have done alright in Europe in recent seasons, but Clermont is a pretty difficult place to go and play. My feeling is that if Saracens are going to do anything in this group then they are probably going to need to win this match. It’s so important to build up momentum.

LONDON IRISH V MUNSTER
(Heineken Cup, Saturday)
Munster have great pedigree in the Heineken Cup, and have somehow ended up with their last game at home again, but if you’re London Irish you’ve got to fancy yourself this time. The Exiles are top of the Premiership and at home, and if they can’t beat them at their own place then what chance do you have anyway? I expect Irish to win.

TOULOUSE V WASPS
(Heineken Cup, Sunday)
Toulouse are the reigning champions and they’re at home, so they will start this game as big, big favourites. Again both teams have pedigree in this competition and between them have won the Heineken Cup six times. If Wasps were to lose this one it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but that’s not to say they won’t beat Toulouse. Ultimately, if they get something out of the game the group could go to the wire.

BAYONNE V HARLEQUINS
(Amlin Challenge Cup, Sunday)
Bayonne have been a real surprise package this season: they were expected to struggle yet now sit near the top of the French league. The south of France is a pretty tough place to go and get a win and, although they haven’t had a bad start to the season, Quins have certainly had more success at home than on the road.

Lawrence Dallaglio, is an ambassador for Amlin, premium partner of the Heineken Cup and title partner of the Amlin Challenge Cup.