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Australia sweeps Walk medals

20 Mar 06 01:26

A victorious Jane Saville crosses the finish line to take gold.

A victorious Jane Saville crosses the finish line to take gold.

Australian Jane Saville has won her third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 20km Walk – in another medal trifecta for Australia, with sister Natalie taking silver and fellow Aussie Cheryl Webb the bronze.

Determined for victory, Jane led the race from the early stages and won in a time that bettered her gold-winning performance in Manchester by four minutes. Her final time was 1:32.46, which becomes the new Games record.

Jane Saville won the 10km Walk in Kuala Lumpur and the 20km Walk in Manchester, but is often remembered for being disqualified from the Walk at the Sydney Olympics when she led with only 200m remaining.

Jane's sister, Natalie Saville, took out the silver medal with a time of 1:33.33, also beating the Games record set by sister Jane in Manchester. 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, Australia’s Cheryl Webb won the bronze medal with a time of 1:36.03.

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.

Carel Bosamon, part of the support team for the South African walkers, was interviewed at the scene. “I think Suzanne Erasmus came last in her last competition. She’s now fifth, that’s great,” he said. 

When asked about Australia’s dominance of the race, Carel said “These are their home games, they’ve got to this position on merit and maybe we can learn something from them."

South African runner Charne Rademeyer was also at the Walk, supporting her team mates. Charne finished 15th in yesterday’s Women’s Marathon.

“The people of Melbourne have been brilliant. The Athletes Village is terrific and the atmosphere at the MCG is unlike anything I have ever experienced”, Charne said.

Sri Lanka’s Geetha Gallage who started the race hard and went to an initial lead in the first lap, withdrew from the event after 12km, apparently suffering from exhaustion.

View a map of the Race Walks course.

For more information, visit the Athletics Schedule and Results section of this Website.

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