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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 18:43 GMT 19:43 UK

Rizzo's golden hat-trick

By Charlie Henderson
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Philippe Rizzo finished the Commonwealth gymnastic meeting with a third gold of the day in the men's individual competition.

The victory on the high bar means that the Australian leaves the Games as the most successful male gymnast.

Earlier in the day he won on the pommel horse and the parallel bars.

The other star on the final day of competition was Canada's Kyle Shewfelt who won the first titles on offer in both the morning and evening sessions - the floor and the vault.

The other gold on offer in the rings was shared by Steve Frew and Herodotos Giorgallas.

Kanukai Jackson failed to recapture the form he showed in winning the all-around title but was given a rousing send-off by a partisan home crowd.

Reports:


Floor

Kyle Shewfelt, the consumate floor specialist in the field, took gold in the first final of the day.

The Canadian put together an immaculate routine to finish with a score of 9.637.

"My main aim in coming here was to win gold on the floor and it feels really good to have won it," he said.

"I knew I was capable of it and I went through my routine really well.

"Although I'm in the final for three events, having won gold on the floor I kind of feel it's all over."

Malaysia's Shu Wai Ng finished second to double his country's tally of medals in Manchester with Philippe Rizzo of Australia in third.


Pommel horse

Philippe Rizzo won the pommel horse title with a fast-paced performance in a competition littered with mistakes.

Despite a rushed finished that lost him marks, he held off the challenge of Kanukai Jackson and Malaysia's Yik Siang Loke courtesy of performing a harder routine.

"After three days I've finally got a gold medal," the all-around silver medallist and floor bronze medallist said.

"Determination got me through. I try my best in everything and if I do my best it's a gold medal."

The programme started and finished with errors from David Kikuchi and Vikas Pandey.

England's Ross Brewer, who qualified in first, was another who blew his chance of a medal when he came off the horse.


Rings

Steve Frew claimed one of the most popular wins of the gymanstics competition with a shared gold on the rings.

The 29-year-old Scot, performing in his fourth Games, finished level with Herodotos Giorgallas of Cyprus.

South Africa's Athol David Myhill finished in third.

Giorgallas set a mark of 9.462 with the very first performance of the competition and Frew levelled with the last to the delight of the G-Mex.

"It was difficult to sit and wait," Giorgallas said. "I knew I was going to win a medal I just didn't know which colour."

"This is the best moment of my life and the support in England has been fantastic," Frew said.


Vault

Kyle Shewfelt won his second gold of the day with a total of 9.443 in the vault.

The Canadian's victory denied the favourite for the event, Kanukai Jackson, a third gold.

Shewfelt followed Jackson onto the stage and pushed him down the order with two spectacular attempts.

"I knew the vault was going to be tough because Kanukai is a strong competitor," Shewfelt said.

"We've been in training for a month and this has made all the hard work worthwhile."

Scotland's Baz Collie finished in third.


Parallel bars

Philippe Rizzo matched Kyle Shewfelt's achievement in winning two golds with victory in the parallel bars.

The Australian was the fourth gymnast on the bar and his composed performance saw him move ahead of Canada's David Kikuchi and John Smethurst of England on the leaderboard.

However, all three had to wait until the death before they were assured of their medals.

Kanukai Jackson was the last gymnast onto the stage, but despite putting together a solid routine he was unable to disturb the status quo.


High bar

Philippe Rizzo finished the Commonwealth Games in style claiming the high bar title with the very last action in the meeting.

He was the eighth and final competitor and finished well clear of the field with an immaculate performance.

Australia, the best team at the gymnastics, finished one and two, with the penultimate performance from Damian Istria good enough for second ahead of Canada's Alexander Jeltkov.

"I'm really happy but I wanted more!", Rizzo said of the six medals he won in total.

England's Craig Heap and Kanukai Jackson finished fourth and fifth but were given a rousing ovation by the home crowd.

"It was a disappointing end to my competition but the games have been fantastic and that's down to the support of the crowd."


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