Montag wins walk, Tallent disqualified
Posted on 04/25/20 7:44 PM
Claire Tallent was on track to win when she was disqualified during the 20km Race Walk.Heartbroken Claire Tallent has been denied Commonwealth gold in the most dramatic circumstances after being disqualified in the women’s 20km walk.
Tallent was holding onto a narrow lead over fellow n Jemima Montag when handed a third and final red card just two kilometres from the finish line on Sunday.
It opened the way for 20-year-old Montag to claim the gold medal in one hour 32 minutes and 50 seconds in only her third race over the distance.
Tallent burst into tears straight after being pulled from the race but composed herself in time to embrace Montag as she crossed the line.
“I was just saying, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry’ but Claire said, ‘No, don’t say that. Enjoy this moment. This is your moment,'” said Montag.
“She is being a beautiful sport about it and I have no doubt she is going to come back super-dooper strong from this.
” … You don’t want it to happen to anyone but to another Aussie is heartbreaking.”
Montag said she’d hoped they would push one another to a fast finish and had “definitely wanted her with me to the end”.
Tallent received her first two cautions for lifting in the eighth of 20 laps, when she and Montag broke away at the front of the field.
“Then nothing changed for effectively the next 10K,” said the emotional 36-year-old wife of Olympic and world champion Jared Tallent, who also doubles as her coach.
“I guess I had settled for silver in my head and was kind of holding back a lot.
“But I knew it was my day. Then (Montag) came back at me with a few laps to go and it was like ‘what do I do now?’
“There’s no way I could ever be content with knowing I didn’t try and win. It’s rock and a hard place. What do you do?
“You either sit back and be content knowing you didn’t give it your all or you give it all and have your heart broken.”
After giving birth to son Harvey last May, Tallent was back in training for the Gold Coast Games in a matter of days.
Both husband and son were trackside on Sunday as the drama unfolded.
Tallent will now shift her focus to the women’s 50km, which has been added to the world walking championships program.
Rising star Montag will target the 20km race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics buoyed by her “magic” Commonwealth Games win.
The silver medal on Sunday went to New Zealander Alana Barber, who, like Montag, is coached by n Brent Vallance.
Bethan Davies from Wales was third and n Beki Smith sixth.