Commonwealth Games medals are secured by North Derbyshire athletes in Birmingham

North Derbyshire’s Commonwealth Games competitors have been among the medals in Birmingham over the last week.

By Mark Duffy
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 6:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 6:12 pm
Alfreton's Imogen Clark with her silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Getty.
Alfreton's Imogen Clark with her silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Getty.

Heanor’s paratriathlete Dave Ellis won gold alongside his guide Luke Pollard in the PTVI visually-impaired race, the reigning world, European and British champions 36 seconds ahead after the opening swim.

They then took complete control on the bike, putting distance between themselves and fellow Team England chaser Oscar Kelly and Aussie Luke Harding.

Ellis and Pollard cemented the win in the 5km run, leaving T2 with over a minute’s lead over Harding and they would run down the finishing line with a St George’s flag between them to secure the gold medal.

Ellis said: “This is unbelievable. I’m so happy to do what we needed to do. Last year [Tokyo] was just so disappointing and I didn’t want to go through that feeling again, so this was the polar opposite.”

Chesterfield swimmer Imogen Clark, meanwhile, claimed a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke.

Having won her heat to qualify second fastest for the final, she then set a new British record on her way to winning silver in the final, lowering her own time of 30.04 by 0.02 to touch the wall in 30.02.

However, Clark just missed out on a place in the 100m breaststroke final, being tenth fastest overall and placed on the reserve list.

Alfreton’s Jacob Whittle, meanwhile, claimed a hat-trick of silver medals competing in relay events for Team England.

Whittle was part of the men’s 4x100m free, mixed 4x100m free and men’s 4x200m free teams as he played a key role in each, with South Wingfield’s Jamie Ingram also part of the men's 4x100 team.

The 17-year-old, who also finished sixth in the 100m freestyle final, said: “It’s a great team to be a part of. At the start of the year wouldn’t have even believed if somebody had told me I would be part of this team right now.

“My 200m freestyle wasn’t my best event and it wasn’t the event that I was focusing on so to be able to do it at World Championships, it has given me the opportunity to keep on doing it and to be in a great team like this, it’s just amazing.”

Chesterfield table tennis star Liam Pitchford, meanwhile, helped England to a bronze medal in the team event.

Pitchford helped the men’s team seal a bronze medal against Nigeria, having been narrowly beaten by Singapore in Monday’s semi-final.

In a dominant performance the men’s team comfortably beat Nigeria 3-0, with Tom Jarvis and Paul Drinkhall winning their doubles game before Pitchford and Drinkhall won their singles matches.

Pitchford admitted there were “mixed emotions” about securing bronze.

“It’s not really what we came for, I’m sort of a bag of mixed emotions at the moment, last night was tough, I didn’t really sleep,” he said.

“I somehow had to get myself up for today and do it for the team. I can look back and be proud of myself that I actually did that, because I could have shied away and not stood up out there and not performed but I did it.

“I’m just proud because it gives me confidence going into the individual events that I’m still here and can beat the best guys in the tournament and I can do something.

“The support’s been amazing, not just from the team but for the spectators and everyone here, probably couldn’t have done it without them, especially today.

“It was hard to get up for this match and we just had to give it one big fight and we did that so obviously I’m proud of the team today.”

Pitchford now has the chance to go for gold in three more events, and believes his bronze-medal performance will spur him on.