Ratcliffe wins silver after hard-fought hammer throw final

Brodyn Knuckey
Source: 1News

Julia Ratcliffe has added a second silver medal to her Commonwealth Games collection after a close final with Canada's Camryn Rogers on Sunday morning.

Julia Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe was looking to defend her 2018 gold in Birmingham and came out firing in the first round of the final at Alexander Stadium with a field-leading 67.26m effort.

The 29-year-old then bettered her lead in the second round with a throw of 69.59m before Rogers came to the party in the third round with an impressive 74.08m heave.

That left Ratcliffe trying to play catch-up with her final four efforts and needing to better her personal best of 73.55m but despite improving her best mark slightly with her third throw of 69.63m, the Hamilton hero wasn't able to pip Rogers with her final three attempts.

Ratcliffe instead adds a second silver to her collection having previously come second in Glasgow in 2014 with fellow Canadian Jillian Weir joining Rogers on the podium with her throw of 67.35m good enough for bronze.

Fellow Kiwi Nicole Bradley finished ninth in her Commonwealth Games debut with a best effort of 63.10m.

Earlier, Portia Bing finished 7th in the women's 400m hurdles final to open the big morning for New Zealand athletics.

Portia Bing.

Bing started well in the race but was simply no match for the Jamaican powerhouse dominating the competition with Janieve Russell, Shiann Salmon and Rushell Clayton all hoping to add to the Caribbean nation's proud track history.

In the end though, the trio were denied a sweep of the podium with South Africa's Zeney van der Walt passing Clayton to take the bronze by just 0.20s in a personal best time of 54.47.

Russell, the defending champion from the Gold Coast, took gold again with a time of 54.14 while Salmon claimed silver in a photo finish with van der Walt.

George Beamish was the last Kiwi in action at Alexander Stadium on Sunday in the men's 5000m final where he came 6th.

New Zealand has now won six medals at the track and field so far in Birmingham.