Australian sprinter Rohan Browning has apologised to his teammates after a heartbreaking accident in the men's 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games.
The Aussie team's hopes of grabbing a medal in the event went up in smoke after Browning tripped over during the baton change.
Browning's Aussie team were well placed to claim a spot in the final until disaster struck for the 100m finalist.
With third-leg runner Jack Hale neck-and-neck with the runner from Trinidad and Tobago, his attempt to get the baton to Browning came undone after his teammate fell face-first onto the track.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) August 6, 2022
“Oh he’s fallen over. I can’t believe it. I cannot believe it," Aussie track great Tamsyn Manou said in commentary for Channel 7.
“A disaster for the Australians.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it to be truthful.”
“That was awful,” she added.
“He looks devastated. Rohan would not have been able to do a lot of this training, he would have been focusing on getting his body right. He just really stumbled when he took his acceleration phase.”
😱 OH NO! DISASTER!
Rohan Browning falls at the final baton change in the men's 4x100. The Aussies will miss the final.
(Via Channel 7)
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— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) August 6, 2022
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) August 6, 2022
Oh no Rohan browning tripped in the relay heat 😭
— bec (@beccaIouise) August 6, 2022
Chin up Rohan Browning. Very unlucky 😰
— Lolly Tweets (@lo22i) August 6, 2022
— Chloe Drew (@ChloeDrew8) August 6, 2022
Browning was clearly distraught after the incident, with his thoughts quickly turning to his teammates as he tried to comprehend what had happened.
"I just tripped over; it's never happened before," said Browning.
"I know these boys have put in so much work for this relay and I take sole responsibility for that.
"It was one of those freak things and I'm just gutted by it."
Hale was quick to throw his support behind his devastated teammate in his post-match interview.
“It’s a relay. There are so many variables and these things happen. It is what it is,” Hale told Channel 7.
Ollie Hoare claims epic 1500m gold for Australia
The incident came on a mixed day for Australia, where Ollie Hoare joined the legendary Herb Elliott as the only Australians to win the Commonwealth 1500m or mile title with one of the greatest runs in the nation's track history.
Hoare was fourth at the top of the final straight but powered home to win in three minutes 30.12 seconds, lunging across the line to edge out flagging 2019 world champ Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya by nine hundredths of a second.
"Not many Australians have been able to achieve medals (in the 1500m), let alone win it, so it's an absolute privilege," said the 25-year-old Hoare, who stripped more than two and a half seconds off his PB.
A "frustrated and disappointed" Eleanor Patterson was in no mood to offer any excuses after having to settle for a shock high jump silver.
A fortnight after winning a thrilling world title in Eugene, Patterson was the red-hot favourite to claim a second Commonwealth title in Birmingham.
The odds of a Patterson triumph shortened even further when fellow Australian and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Nicola Olyslagers withdrew on the eve of the final after tearing a calf muscle in the qualifying round.
But no one reckoned on Lamara Distin.
The Jamaican blew the competition wide open with a first-round clearance at 1.95m.
Patterson was unable to respond, missing three times at 1.95m - seven centimetres less than her Australian record-equalling effort in Eugene.
Meanwhile, Naa Anang anchored the women's 4x100m relay team to third spot in their heat in 43.47 and a spot in Sunday's final.
Australia's premier race walker Jemima Montag added the 10,000m track title to the 20km gold she won four years ago on the roads of the Gold Coast.
Montag broke clear at the halfway stage of Saturday's final to win in 42 minutes 34.30 seconds.
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