Friday, March 24, 2006

Deake's Double,8659,18586380-5002861,00.html

It was GREAT to see Nathan Deakes winning his second Gold medal today in the 50km racewalk. Definitely the Australian Endurance Athlete of these Commonwealth Games. Well done as well to Christopher Erickson form Australia who won the bronze. Christopher’s father is well known Australian Centurions identity and stalwart, Tim Erickson. Tim himself was a Commonwealth Games medallist in the 70’s and I know will be as proud as punch today.

Report from Tim Erickson at the track:

The last of the Commonwealth Games walks was completed this morning at the
Docklands in Melbourne. The day was expected to be hot (max expected 30
degrees) and, while the 8AM start was some sonsolation, it was expected to be
a torrid affair in the Melbourne sun.
Luckily early morning cloud cover and the morning shadows from the surrounding
buildings shielded the walkers for the first half of the race but the second
half was walked in the sunshine with the temperature quickly rising.
Nathan Deakes did not disappoint, breaking his own Games record by 10 minutes
to finish in a fantastic 3:42:53. He walked with the other walkers for the
first couple of laps before heading off on his own and increasing his pace
each 10 km split right through to the end. The first 10 km was the slowest of
his race! What an amazing athlete. That's 4 golds from the last 2
Commonwealth Games.
The battle for the minor medals was fierce with Craig Barrett, Tim Berrett and
Duane Cousins pushing each other throught the first 20 km in 1:32:17. Chris
Erickson decided to let them go, relying on the second half to sort things
out. The early pace took its toll and first Tim Barrett and then Craig
Barrett dropped off. That left the 3 Aussies clearly in front with Nathan
leading Duane and Chris hot in pursuit. Chris worked hard to bridge the gap
to Duane and got it down to 20 secs at one stage before Duane responded
brilliantly and started to increase the gap. But then tragedy for Duane as he
was informed he had been disqualified. This left Chris in second spot with 5
km to go and it looked like it was all over. But the second of the Kiwi
walkers, Tony Sargisson, was walking an inspired race further back in the
field and he had other ideas.
Catching Chris with just over 1 lap to go, he surged past the slowing
Australian and powered home to take silver in 3:58:05. His splits were
1:59:59 followed by 1:58:06. He negative split the second half by nearly 2
minutes! Chris held on gamely for third with 3:58:22. It was the first time
under 4 hours for both Tony and Chris and these results give them the all
important A qualifiers for the 2007 IAAF World Champs next year (and
hopefully a big boost for 2008 Olympic selection).
Craig Barrett finished next in 4:02:27 ahead of Tim Barrett who was fifth in
4:08:18. Both these walkers headed out hard and the warm conditions perhaps
laid waste to their plans. Tim had just come from Canada with its sub zero
temperatures so he was never going to be acclimatised for the hot Melbourne
Steve Partington (Isle of Man) was nexty in in 4:25:18. This is his sixth Comm
Games appearance, a great record that will take some beating.
The only other finisher was Abdul Mohd Sharrulhaizy of Malaysia who showed
great courage to labour through the midday heat and complete the course in
Once again, huge crowds lined the course and witnessed an exciting event.
1.DEAKES Nathan AUS 17/08/1977 3:42:53 GR
2.SARGISSON Tony NZ 24/06/1975 3:58:05 PB
3.ERICKSON Christopher AUS 01/12/1981 3:58:22 PB
4.BARRETT Craig NZ 16/11/1971 4:02:27
5.BERRETT Tim CAN 23/01/1965 4:08:18
6.PARTINGTON Steve IOM 17/09/1965 4:25:39
7.MOHD SHARRULHAIZY Abd MAS 19/02/1980 5:07:32
8.AROSANYIN Charles NGR 23/06/1967 DSQ
9.COUSINS Duane AUS 13/07/1973 DSQ
10.CHAND Dip FIJ 27/08/1969 DNS
Tim Erickson

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