‘Amazing’ act after heartbreak
AUSTRALIAN veteran Claire Tallent has suffered a heartbreaking disqualification with one lap to go in the women's 20km walk.
Tallent was in first place before an official came out and produced her third red paddle of the race.
Tallent collapsed to the ground and sobbed uncontrollably.
"That is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for Claire Tallent," one Channel Seven commentator said. "She is sobbing tears of devastation."
Former Aussie track star Tamsyn Manou (nee Lewis) was in shock.
"That is so hard to watch," she said. "That is heartbreaking.
"There's just nothing anyone will be able to say to her."
The soul-destroying scenes brought back memories of walker Jane Saville's disqualification at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when she was ruled out at the death.
But in a display of pure class, Tallent eventually pulled herself off the bitumen and supported fellow Aussie Jemima Montag, who won gold.
Tallent was there at the finish line to congratulate her countrywoman and the pair shared a warm embrace.
"She is cheering her teammate on to the gold medal, Jemima Montag," Manou said.
"She will know how upset Claire Tallent would have been. That is amazing sportsmanship that we have just witnessed."
Tallent was still in tears when she was interviewed after the race.
"I really thought it was my day, I paced the race perfectly," she said. "I felt so fresh, fresh as a daisy, ready to sprint home and enjoy the moment.
"I didn't seem to get cautioned."
Earlier, Australian Dane Bird-Smith claimed gold in the men's 20km race walk.
The bronze medallist from the Rio Olympics in 2016 completed the course in a Games record time of one hour, 19 minutes and 34 seconds as he finished ahead of Englishman Tom Bosworth and Samuel Gathimba from Kenya.
"I am absolutely cooked right now mate, absolutely done," Bird-Smith said after his victory.
"It's just unbelievable, it's unreal."
The 25-year-old's father was famously fined $3000 and escorted away by security in Rio when officials prevented him from entering the post-race area to congratulate his son - a move Bird-Smith laughed off as "classic dad" behaviour at the time.
But David Smith was on his best behaviour at the Gold Coast.
"Dad's been so well behaved, there was a small little fence for him to jump over," Bird-Smith joked.
"He's getting a bit on in age though so these fences might give him a bit of a run for his money."