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September 25, 2017

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Bolt shines, English teen grabs 4th gold

GLASGOW -- Usain Bolt made a storming start to his Commonwealth Games Friday by leading Jamaica into the final of the 4x100-meter relay on a day when pint-sized gymnast Claudia Fragapane became England's best performer at a Games in 84 years.

Olympic champion and world record holder Bolt ran the fourth leg of the heat with his Caribbean island quartet winning in 38.98 seconds to advance to the final scheduled for 2015 GMT on Saturday.

His eagerly awaited appearance came just two days after he allegedly described the Commonwealth Games as "shit," a claim he vehemently denied.

"I would never use that word. I love competing and I came here because I wanted to compete," said the superstar.

"People here have been nice to me. Glasgow has been great, it's all good so far. It's just the weather, it got really cold. I am happy to be here and I am enjoying what's going on."

The afternoon belonged to 16-year-old, 1.37-meter Fragapane who made history by adding the floor gold to her wins in the vault, individual all-around and team events.

The last Englishwoman to win four gold medals in a single Commonwealth Games was Joyce Cooper at Hamilton in 1930.

"As a child I was so bubbly, jumping around everywhere in my house. My mum just wanted to get me doing something and straight away I just loved gymnastics," said the teenager.

"I like the determination needed and I wanted to progress."

Also in track and field action, Moses Kipsiro of Uganda defended his 10,000-meter title in a thrilling finish in a time of 27 minutes 56.11 seconds ahead of Kenya's Josphat Bett and Canada's Cameron Levins.

Australia's Dani Samuels won the women's discus while her 18-year-old compatriot Eleanor Patterson became the youngest gold medal winner in women's athletics since 1990 by claiming the high jump.

Jonathan Ndiku broke the Commonwealth Games record to win the men's 3000-meter steeplechase as Kenya completed a 1-2-3. Ndiku won in 8 minutes 10.44 seconds ahead of Jairus Birech and double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi.

Kenya's Eunice Sum, the world champion, won the women's 800 meters. Later Friday Sally Pearson added Commonwealth gold to her Olympic title in the 100-meter hurdles.

In the diving pool, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears beat Australia's Grant Nel and Matthew Mitcham in the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard.

But Mitcham then teamed-up with Domonic Bedggood to win the synchronized 10-meter platform title ahead of England's Tom Daley, a gold medalist at New Delhi in 2010, and James Denny.

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