It was a night of high drama and controversy on day two of the Commonwealth Games athletics programme yesterday. The men's 100m final was a clear-cut affair, Lerone Clarke of Jamaica winning in 10.12sec and England's Mark Lewis-Francis – matching his silver-medal run at the European Championships in Barcelona in July – finishing second in 10.20sec.
"This has been an amazing season for me," the Birchfield Harrier said. "But I want to say this: I would have won if my blocks hadn't slipped." The women's 100m final by contrast was mired in confusion from the off. After a false start was called, Australia's Sally Pearson looked to have been guilty of jumping the gun and held her head in her hands. Instead, it was Laura Turner of England who was shown a red card but she protested to trackside officials and then took her place back on the track for the rerun. She finished last and was subsequently confirmed as having been disqualified.
Pearson won in 11.28sec but then a protest by the England team was upheld and the Olympic 100m hurdles silver medallist was disqualified and Nigerian Osayemi Oludamola declared the winner. The medal ceremony was postponed and the Australian team lodged a counter-protest, but four hours after the race had finished the Jury of Appeal upheld Pearson's disqualification and confirmed Oludamola in gold.
Pearson left the stadium in tears. "It's been pretty disastrous and emotionally a huge rollercoaster," she said. In contrast, for England's Katherine Endacott, there was the joy of promotion to the bronze medal position after running a personal best time of 11.44sec.
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