COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Halford claims second Commonwealth medal

This Is Wiltshire: Laura Halford clebrates with her bronze medal in Glasgow today Laura Halford clebrates with her bronze medal in Glasgow today

WILTSHIRE'S Laura Halford claimed his second medal of the Commonwealth Games with bronze in the individual rhythmic gymnastics all-around final in Glasgow today.

Halford and Wales teammate Francesca Jones, who took silver, followed up their team silver success of last night.

The duo, along with teammate Nikara Jenkins, won Wales' first Commonwealth Games team medal in the sport on Thursday and continued the medal rush in the Hydro after they finished behind Canada's Patricia Bezzoubenko, who won gold.

Hot favourite Bezzoubenko achieved an all-around total of 59.175 for her routines with the hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon to add to the team gold medal she won yesterday, while Jones took silver with 57.350 and Halford bronze with 56.225.

Cricklade's Halford held the lead after the first rotation but Bezzoubenko moved ahead with the ball and did not look back, leaving Jones and Halford to jostle for the other places on the podium.

Jones' double medal success in Glasgow means she is only the third rhythmic gymnast to win a medal at multiple editions of the Commonwealth Games after her hoop silver medal in Delhi four years ago.

The 23-year-old, who is set to retire after the Games, has followed in the footsteps of Australia's Leigh Marning (1994 and 1998) and Naamzi Johnston (2006 and 2010).

Halford started her bid for another medal with a hoop routine which topped the lot as her 14.500 mark took her into an early lead.

Her clubmate at Swindon's Esprit club Sherlock then kicked off the second rotation and scored 13.025 with the ball before Bezzoubenko climbed to the top of the standings after the first 15-point score of the day.

The Welsh duo of Halford and Jones again impressed, with Halford moving into second place and Jones into bronze medal position at the halfway stage.

Bezzoubenko notched an impressive 15.000 with the clubs to turn the heat back on her Welsh rivals but Jones stepped up with 14.700 and Halford produced a routine of 14.500.

It meant Jones edged ahead of her teammate into silver medal position with just the ribbon remaining.

Jones set her stall out with the ribbon with a score of 14.200 to move into gold-medal position with Halford and Bezzoubenko to come.

Halford was the next to compete and was awarded a mark of 13.250 to go second behind her teammate but Canadian Bezzoubenko knew exactly what she had to do as the last gymnast onto the floor, posting a score of 14.800 to claim her second gold medal in as many days.

MORE ON THIS STORY AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN THE GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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