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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Athletics Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 20:28 GMT 21:28 UK
Morgan clinches surprise win
Nathan Morgan
Morgan was the only man to go over eight metres

Nathan Morgan produced the only leap over eight metres to win a surprise gold in the men's long jump.

British record holder Chris Tomlinson had been expected to at least collect a medal after performing impressively in qualifying on Tuesday morning.

open quote
It's been a long time coming
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Nathan Morgan

However, he finished back in sixth and the other medals were taken by Botswana's Gable Garenamotse, who leapt 7.91m, and Kareem Streete-Thompson of the Caymen Islands, who managed 7.89m.

The biggest disappointment was Jamaica's 1996 Olympic silver medallist James Beckford, who qualified well in the morning and then failed to register a legal jump and went out after three efforts.

Morgan, a former European junior champion, was as surprised as anyone by his triumph, particularly as he has been struggling with a heel injury of late.

"I can't believe it," he said. "There were a lot of guys capable of going over eight metres. Actually, I was hoping it would rain after I jumped 8.02m.

"But it's been a long time coming. I've been competing for my country for years.

"In qualification I was struggling with my heel but I had an injection which has paid off. I'm not feeling any pain now but I'll probably feel it later on."

When Morgan squared up to Tomlinson at the opening domestic competition of the season at Loughborough back in April, he lost out to the newly acclaimed British record holder.

Chris Tomlinson
Tomlinson was disappointing in the final

But he vowed then to finish as number one in the Commonwealth Games - and sealed an impressive victory with his second of six jumps to claim the gold medal.

Tomlinson came into the event as the man in form but his best effort on a damp night was his final jump of 7.79m.

In April he broke the 34-year-old British record set by Lynn Davis - three months after he broke both of his wrists in a weight training accident.

The 20-year-old led the qualifying for Tuesday's final but, despite being the current European champion and ranked third in the world, he could not find the jump which would have earned him a medal.

Botswana claimed their first ever Commonwealth Games medal as Garenamotse, who is based at the University of Wales in Cardiff, leapt a season's-best 7.91m.

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England's Nathan Morgan
"It's been a long time coming"

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