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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK

Backley back in gold routine

Steve Backley recaptured his Commonwealth Games javelin crown in the City of Manchester Stadium.

The victory gave the 33-year-old Cambridge thrower a hat-trick of Games titles, having won in 1990 and 1994 before finishing second four years ago.

The veteran Englishman won with a first-round throw of 86.81m.

"I knew that if I pulled one out it would be enough"
Steve Backley

Second-placed Scott Russell from Canada was nearly eight metres back with a throw of 78.97m, while England's Nick Nieland was third with a 78.63m effort.

"When I saw that I was first to throw that was ideal for me," said Backley. "That told me that I needed to finish it off in the first round.

"It went to plan and that was enough. It was very difficult for me to lift myself after that first throw - even with this crowd.

"I hate coming in as favourite - you feel the pressure more - but I knew that if I pulled one out it would be enough and fortunately I managed to."


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