Monday, March 20, 2006

Commonwealth Games Walks Results

Commonwealth  Games Walk results - Monday 20 March


Australia made history in the 20 km walks  today at Melbourne's new Docklands
area, sweeping both the men’s and women’s events for the first time. Saville
sisters Jane and Natalie and team mate Cheryl Webb took gold, silver and
bronze for Australia in the morning. Australia’s men followed in their
footsteps in the early afternoon with Nathan Deakes taking the gold ahead of
Luke Adams and Jared Tallent.

The Docklands course offered maximum viewing opportunities for spectators and
allowed them to get up close and personal with the walkers as they swept
past. Thousands lined the 2 km lap and the atmosphere was one of excitement
and cheerful support. The weather was overcast early and even when the sun
came out later and the temperature crept towards the mid twenties, a cool
onshore breeze provided some relief.

Although the course was a fairly technical one with lots of twists and turns,
the times were fast and competitors seemed to handle it well.


Australian Jane Saville won her third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold
medal in the 20km Walk with sister Natalie taking silver and fellow Aussie
Cheryl Webb the bronze. All 3 girls were under Jane's Games record which she
set in winning in Manchester in 2002.

Sri Lanka’s Geetha Gallage started the race hard and went to an initial lead
in the first lap, followed by the 3 Australians. Soon she was swallowed up by
the Australian juggernaut and from then on, it was a succession of gold
singlets. Jane went to the lead but Natalie chased hard and remained within
striking distance for most of the race.

Jane's final time of 1:32.46 was some 4 minutes faster than Manchester and
Natalie hung on superbly for her silver medal winning time of  1:33.33. They
join Cycling sisters Anna and Kerry Meares as the second pair of Australian
sisters to take out gold and silver in the same event at these Games.

In her first Commonwealth Games appearance,  Cheryl Webb won the bronze medal
with a time of 1:36.03. She had chased the Saville sisters throughout the 20
km but the gap always looked unassailable.

The South African competitors, who were well positioned throughout the race,
finished behind the Australian pack, with Nicolene Cronje taking fourth place
and Suzanne Erasmus fifth. India’s Deepmala L Devi finished sixth, with the
English pair of Johanna Jackson and Niobe Menendez finishing seventh and
eighth.  Geetha Gallage, who had led early, withdrew from the event after
12km, apparently suffering from exhaustion.

1.SAVILLE Jane  AUS 05/11/1974  1:32:46   GR  
2.SAVILLE Natalie  AUS 07/09/1978   1:33:33  SB  
3. WEBB Cheryl  AUS 03/10/1976   1:36:03 
4. CRONJE Nicolene  RSA 16/06/1983   1:38:19   SB  
5.ERASMUS Suzanne  RSA 28/09/1985   1:40:54     PB  
6.L. DEVI Deepmala  IND 16/04/1985   1:41:54     SB  
7.JACKSON Johanna  ENG 17/01/1985  1:42:04     PB  
8.MENENDEZ Niobe  ENG 01/09/1966   1:47:35     
9.GALLAGE Geetha  SRI 18/09/1978  DNF     

Jane's lap times were as follows
9:14, 8:14, 27:24, 36:34, 45:48, 55:04, 1:04:16, 1:13:39, 1:23:10, 1:32:46

20 KM MEN, 12PM, MONDAY 20 MARCH 2006

The Australians made a clean sweep of the Men's Walk medals, in a repeat of
this morning’s podium line-up in the women’s event.

Nathan Deakes and Luke Adams went out fast and the field was well spread
before the first lap was even completed. Jared Tallent went out more
conservatively in a small group which included the Kenyan David Rotich (third
in Manchester), the Indian Jalan and the English walkers.

Such was Nathan's pace that Luke was forced to let him go after only 2 km and
from then on it was Nathan walking against the clock. He went through the
first 10 km in about 39:36 in a superb display of speed walking. If anyone
thought that he might be taking it easy with a 50 km event to follow in only
4 days, Nathan had other plans. His final time of 1:19:55 took over 4 minutes
off his Manchester Games record (in fact, the first 3 all broke the current
Games record).

Luke gamely chased Nathan throughout the race and really only lost significant
ground in the final laps. His final time of 1:21:38 earned him a second
silver medal, matching his Manchester effort.  
Jared Tallent, the youngest competitor in the field at the age of 21, soon
broke away from the second group and walked the remainder of the race on his
own behind Nathan and Luke but well clear of the other walkers. His final
time of 1:23.32 was his second fastest even and rounded out the trifecta.

Kenya’s David Kimutai Rotich held on to finish in fourth place, a position he
had maintained since the early stages of the race. He had taken third in
Manchester and this was a much faster walk but he it was too hard an ask to
split the strong Australian team. Fifth place went to India’s Parayil Jalan
and the English walkers completed the finishers.

Deakes has only a short time for recover and prepare for the gruelling 50km
Walk. “Four days isn’t long and 50km is a pretty daunting distance, but I’m
pretty optimistic about my chances,” he said.

Nathan's post-rce comment summed it up nicely:
“I’m a Melburnian at heart, and with the absolutely fabulous support - an
Aussie trifecta in the Women’s and Men’s - we couldn’t have scripted it

1.DEAKES Nathan  AUS  17/08/1977   1:19:55    GR  
2.ADAMS Luke  AUS  22/10/1976   1:21:38   
3.TALLENT Jared  AUS  17/10/1984   1:23:32 
4.KIMUTAI ROTICH David  KEN  19/08/1969   1:25:42     
5.JALAN Parayil  IND 23/10/1983   1:30:43     
6.KING Daniel  ENG  30/05/1983   1:31:17 
7.KING Dominic  ENG  30/05/1983   1:32:21 
8.PENN Andrew  ENG  31/03/1967   1:32:54 
9.CHAND Dip  FIJ  27/08/1969  DNF                      
10.MOHD SHARRULHAIZY Abd  MAS  19/02/1980  DSQ    

Nathan's lap times were

7:44, 15:32, 23:32, 31:39, 39:36, 47:34, 55:38, 1:03:43, 1:11:53, 1:19:55 

Tim Erickson

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