Sunday, October 10, 2010
Sally Pearson won the 100 metre sprint in 11.28 seconds. Sally finished the final first ahead of Nigeria’s Osayemi Oludamola (11.32) and Natasha Mayers of St Vincent and the Grenadines (11.37), with England’s Katherine Endacott fourth.
Commonwealth Games Fiasco
Sally Pearson was stripped of her Commonwealth Games gold medal after a protest was lodged by the English team. Pearson had taken a victory lap and was preparing for the medal ceremony when she was told of the protest.
She (Pearson) was originally cleared by track officials to race despite appearing to false-start alongside England's Laura Turner. Time sensors at the stadium found Turner had broken from the blocks 0.001sec ahead of Pearson, but England's team management argued the margin was so small as to constitute a dual false start.
England's protest was eventually upheld – and survived a counter-protest from the Australians – after four hours of deliberations before an IAAF appeals jury. That allowed another English sprinter, Katherine Endacott, to be elevated from fourth to the bronze medal position and Oludamola to claim the gold.
The claims that stripping Pearsons of her 100 metres Commonwealth Games Gold medal is payback by the English team could very well be true - Nick Honey from Athletics Victoria says there's bad blood between the teams after an Australian appeal at the last games saw the English team disqualified in the women's 4x400 relay.
She may have had her Gold medal taken from her, but there is still the undistputable fact that Sally Pearson won the race and came first. And the English contestant came fourth. Had there been no false start, would Pearson still have won? Most likely. Had there been no false start, would the English contestant have won a medal? Most likely not.
So there you have it folks - payback, or getting even as some might say, is something that children practise. England may have a bronze medal but it is a hollow victory - Endacott won by default. It's a little like cheating in an exam - you might get a good mark, you might even get first in class, but deep down you know you didn't earn it.