LONG WALK TO HEARTACHE
Like Jane Saville, the Australian walker who was inconsolable at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 after being disqualified a few steps short of gold glory, Claire Tallent’s heartache was palpable. Having fought to the lead in the women’s 20km race walk on April 8, the South Australian 36-year-old, who is the wife of Olympic champion walker Jared Tallent, was disqualified for lifting—having two feet in the air at once. Fellow Australian Jemima Montag, 20, went on to win gold. “I wanted to show the world that women who have babies can do anything,” said mother-of-one Tallent. “They can come back and be competitive. You don’t have to stop doing what you love because you’re having a baby.”
Novocastrian Lauren Parker, who was left paralysed in a cycling accident while training last year for the Ironman Australia Triathlon, came third in the women’s para-triathlon final at the Southport Broadwater Parklands on April 8. “I had a little accident at the end there,” the 29-year-old said of her crash near the finish line, “but I’m stoked with a bronze medal.”
Silver-medallist Erin Cleaver (right), 18, who has cerebral palsy, and bronze-medallist Taylor Doyle, 25, who has a brain injury, celebrate after the women’s T38 long jump final on April 8.
After undergoing surgery to fix a rapid heartbeat last year, Rio Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers, 19, stormed to victory in the 200m freestyle on April 6. His Australian teammate Mack Horton (right, with Chalmers), 21, came second.
Queensland’s Mitch Larkin (on April 8), 24, won five gold medals including in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.
After missing out on gold in two events, Adelaide-born backstroker—and Larkin’s girlfriend—Emily Seebohm, 25, blamed the media for zapping her spirit: “I felt media-wise ... that it wasn’t an achievement to
win silver.” On April 10, she won two gold, including in the 50m backstroke.
After Bronte Campbell again came off second best to sister Cate in the 50m freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games on April 7, the younger sister was quizzed by Nathan Templeton, from official Games broadcaster Seven, if she was used to them both securing the top spots. “Yes,” said Bronte, 23. “But it would be nice if the order changed once in a while.” On April 9, she got her wish. Bronte finally defeated her 25-year-old sister in the 100m freestyle final. Earlier at the Games, Cate shook off her Rio meltdown to win the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly.
MALAWI’S SHOCK WIN
In perhaps the biggest upset of the Games, Malawi stunned favourite New Zealand in the netball, 57–53, on April 8. “We have beaten the untouchables,’’ said coach Whyte Mulilima.
AGONY TO ECSTASY
After the world champ’s shock exit in the 1km sprint on April 7, South Australian Matt Glaetzer, 25, found redemption, winning gold in the 1km time trial on April 8 (inset, after his win). “It was big today ... after a shocking day yesterday,” said Glaetzer, who also won the men’s keirin final on April 6 (main picture).
Revered Australian wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley, 37, who came second in the men’s T54 1,500m final on April 10, said this Games will be his last.
At the end of their 10,000m event on April 9, three Australian runners—Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills, and Eloise Wellings—waited on the track for Lesotho’s Lineo Chaka, who was two laps behind the rest of the field, to finish.
AN INSPIRING VICTORY
Australian para-swimmer Lakeisha Patterson won the women’s S9 100m freestyle on April 8. “I’m so excited,” said Patterson, who has cerebral palsy.
Scotland’s Duncan Scott, 20, claimed the gold in the men’s 100m freestyle final on April 8, beating Australian Olympic gold-medallist Kyle Chalmers.
STROLL TO GOLD
Queenslander Dane Bird-Smith, 25, won the men’s 20km race walk final on April 8.