NZ runner unleashes after poor 10,000m finish
An extraordinary outburst by 10,000m runner Jake Robertson has punctuated New Zealand's medal-less night at the Commonwealth Games athletics track.
Robertson let rip at team running from the Kenyan trio, and said the slower runners should not be permitted to line up after several caused disruptions when lapped. And his team-mate Nick Willis even got a mention for causing Robertson's fall in the 5000m.
The 25-year-old Kenya-based Hamiltonian finished seventh in the 10,000m after running an outstanding race for the first 24 laps. He was nicely placed in the first four and actually strode up to lead the field just before the bell, before he was swallowed up by the Kenyans, then impeded by a lapped runner who he gestured angrily towards.
Uganda's Moses Kipsiro won a thrilling finish in a time of 27min 56.11sec, narrowly beating Kenya's Josphat Bett and Canada's Cameron Levins. Robertson clocked 28:03.70, around 18sec outside his personal best.
"I think everyone could see what went on. There was a lot of talk by the Kenyans and I consider it foul play, and the lapped runner just completely stopped my rhythm. But I can't make excuses, that was just a fold in the last lap, that was it," he said.
Asked about his altercation on the final lap, when he looked to have slipped from medal contention, an angry Robertson unloaded.
"Yeah, another lapped runner. I really don't believe that these people should be competing, they do not have the same standards as us and they're really interfering. They are the reason that I fell in the 5km, including Nick Willis, which I will not forget for four years and if I'm injured in four years, then the rest of my life maybe. That was my chance in the 5000m so I will not forget that."
Robertson looked a huge medal chance in the 5000m on night one before he was accidentally tripped by Willis following behind with 450m left. His twin brother Zane won bronze.
Asked what he could take out of what appeared a hugely encouraging Games marred by bad luck, Robertson said: "Nothing. I did nothing, I came here and got nothing."
Soon afterwards, New Zealanders Angie Smit and Nikki Hamblin missed out on the silverware in the women's 800m final.
Smit finished fifth in a time of 2:01.94 seconds, two places ahead of Delhi silver medallist Hamblin. Kenyan Eunice Jepkoech Sum won gold in 2:00.31, with Scotland's Lynsey Sharp second and Uganda's Winnie Nanyondo third.
Willis earlier did the business in the 1500m heats and stamped his chances of a third medal in tomorrow's final.
The Melbourne 2006 gold medallist won heat one in an impressive performance where he controlled the race and eased down at the end, clocking a time of 3:40.76. Zane Robertson missed out on the final after finishing seventh in 3:43.02, but a third New Zealander, Julian Matthews, snuck through as one of the four fastest losers when recording 3:40.33 in finishing fifth in heat two.
New Zealand's women's 4x400m relay team of Portia Bing, Brooke Cull, Zoe Ballantyne and Louise Jones missed qualifying for the final after running a national record 3:34.62. They finished sixth and last in heat two but couldn't qualify as fastest losers. The previous New Zealand record was 3:35.90.