Gold turns to gloom for Pearson, Patmore celebrates Games glory
Olympic silver medallist Sally Pearson
left heartbroken after being disqualified from the women’s 100m
final, hours after crossing the line in first place to seemingly
become the first Australian female to win Commonwealth Games gold
in the event since Raelene Boyle
achieved the feat
On a night of mixed fortunes for the Australian Flame at Jawaharlal
Nehru Sports Complex in New Delhi (IND), Simon
clocked a new personal best time of 11.14 (w:-0.3)
to take gold in the men’s T46 100m and emerging Victorian
took bronze in the men’s shot put
with an equal career-best heave of 19.99m.
In a dramatic chain of events in the final of the women’s 100m
Pearson, who was first across the line in a time of 11.28 (w:0.2),
was forced to endure an agonising wait for the outcome of a series
of protests to be determined and to learn if she had successfully
bagged the first individual Commonwealth Games medal of her
Qualifying fastest for the final in a time of 11.28 (w:1.0),
Pearson again posted 11.28 (w:0.2) in the deciding round only to be
stripped of her victory hours later after a protest was launched
against the Queenslander for an apparent false start.
While the electronic timing system showed Laura Turner (ENG) as the
first athlete to have jumped the gun, Pearson’s reaction time
of 0.071 meant technically, she had also false-started.
Pearson, who made a late entry into the 100m after touching down in
New Delhi in superb shape, said it was a devastating end to the
"I guess I'm just numb right now, I don't really know
what I feel. I’m obviously devastated and disappointed,” she
“It didn't go my way today and that's what I have to deal
with. I'm just going to use my emotions and my anger and
disappointment and put it into the hurdles and hope that I can come
out on top.
“I'm in this sport as a competitor and an athlete just like
everyone else and this is our career, our job, it's what we
train for and to run the race, do the victory lap and everything be
okay and then be told you can't have your medal now is horrible
but I have to deal with it because that's the way sport
Athletics team manager Eric Hollingsworth
result was a blow to Australia.
“The jury of appeal have done their independent assessment and it
boils down to a reaction time of one thousandth of a second not
being humanly possible, so two false starts have been credited in
the race rather than Sally reacting to the English girl’s break and
that's the basis of the decision from the jury," he
"It’s pretty disappointing, at the end of the day she is
without question the fastest girl in the Commonwealth and we made a
tough decision to put her in and to get that far and to win it,
then to have it taken away, is obviously not good.
"This is high performance sport and this goes on all the time.
Sally handled it like a professional high performance
"Sally's a great competitor so I don't anticipate
anything but a gold medal at the end of the hurdles in three days’
time. I've got no doubt she will be as determined as hell to
bring home a gold medal from Delhi."
Pearson’s disqualification saw Nigerian athlete Osayemi
Oludamola (11.32) elevated to the gold medal position.
Teammate Melissa Breen
was run out of contention
in the semi-finals of the event, the 20-year-old ACT-based athlete
clocking 11.78 (w:0.7) to place fifth in her race and just miss out
on a berth in the deciding round.
In brighter news for the Australian Flame on day two of athletics
action at Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, Simon Patmore clocked a
career-best time of 11.14 (w:-0.3) to take out line honours in the
Advancing to the final alongside teammate Gabriel
(11.92), Patmore turned it up a gear in the deciding
round, leading the field from start to finish to take gold.
“It was the most amazing feeling ever, I just want to do it again
right now,” Patmore said.
“A personal best, what an amazing feeling. It’s what I wanted, I
wanted 11.1 and I got it. The gold medal is taking over the PB at
the moment, gold is what I want but when I see the times I ran I’m
just going to laugh.”
Fellow T46 100m contender Heath Francis
unfortunate casualty for Australia, pulling up in the semi-finals
of the event with a hamstring injury.
In the field, 22-year-old Dale Stevenson collected Australia’s
third medal for the night, equalling the career-best mark of 19.99m
he set at the IAAF Oceania Championships in Cairns last month to
take bronze in the men’s shot put in front of his family and
“I’m still in a different world. It was fantastic, it hasn’t sunk
in yet,” Stevenson said.
“You’ve got to put it in perspective, it would have been nice to
crack 20m and push for silver but it’s a world-class
“I have my family here and people I want to catch up with so it
might be a long night.”
For the first time since the 1998 edition of the Commonwealth
Games, Australian athletes featured in the finals of both the men’s
and women’s 100m in New Delhi tonight with Victorian young gun
joining Pearson in the medal
Placing third in his semi-final in 10.29 (w:0.9), Rouge-Serret
automatically advanced to the final where he finished fifth in a
time of 10.30 (w:0.3).
“It’s unbelievable, in my first Commonwealth Games I got through
the semis, made the final and came fifth, I’m on cloud nine,”
“I’m happy with the time, I would have liked to go a bit quicker
but as you know, anything can happen in these races.“
Rouge-Serret will now turn his attention to the heats of the 4x100m
relay on Monday.
“I think our relay team can really stick it to these boys, we’ve
just got to get through the heat and as you know with relays, a lot
of teams can drop the baton and then it’s anyone’s game. Hopefully
we can beat them without that happening,” he said.
Rounding out the 100m action on a big night for Australia on the
track, 17-year-old Jodi Elkington
placed fourth in
the final of the T37 sprint in a time of 15.08 (w:0.5) and, with
her first major championship under her belt, said she was already
looking ahead to London 2012.
“Now I’ve had my first major competition so I can take a lot out of
that. I’ll move to the Australian Institute of Sport in November
and see if I can improve up there for the IPC world championships
next year and London in 2012,” she said.
On a big night for the Australian Flame, Gabrielle
(63.46m), Bronwyn Eagles
(63.43m) and Karyne Di Marco
fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in a hard-fought final of the
women’s hammer throw.
Thirty-two-year-old Di Marco, a veteran of four consecutive
Commonwealth Games appearances, will retire from the sport on a
“It’s the last one, I’m 32 and I did my first Commonwealth Games 12
years ago and this is it, it’s quite emotional,” she said.
“From second to sixth there was a metre and a half so it was a very
close competition, it was up there for anybody and unfortunately I
couldn’t pull it off tonight.”
Di Marco ends her competitive career with four Commonwealth Games
(1998, 2002, 2006, 2010), one Olympic (2000) and one world
championships (2001) appearance to her name, her bronze medal at
the 2002 edition of the Commonwealth Games going down as one of the
highlights of her career.
Day three of athletics action at Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex
sees world indoor champion Fabrice Lapierre
line up in the qualifying rounds of
the men’s long jump, Richard Colman
and Jake Lappin
take on the
heats of the T54 100m, Lachlan Renshaw
heats of the 800m, Joel Milburn
and Sean Wroe
do battle in the
semi-finals of the 400m, Tim Driesen
in the final of the hammer throw
and Eloise Wellings
in the final of the women’s