Australian cycling star Matthew Glaetzer was robbed of a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in a decision labeled a “travesty”.
Glaetzer, who was made to sweat for over an hour while officials reviewed footage, had his bronze medal taken off him in a decision widely condemned by the cycling community.
The lengthy review deemed Glaetzer impeded Scotland’s Jack Carlin during the bronze medal sprint, a ruling which was slammed by Aussie cycling royalty Kathy Bates.
Bates, commenting for Channel 7, called the officials’ decision “a poor interpretation”.
“I don’t agree,” Bates said. “If they are going to be that picky they need every camera angle and they sure need a super zoom.
“I’m having nothing of it. The any time limit contact is when Jack Carlin swung back up the track and even touched Matt Glaetzer. If anyone got impeded it was Matt Glaetzer. But the judges, you have to respect their decision. I’m not sure I respect this one to be honest.
“I want to because I think rules are rules but I think this is a pretty crappy decision. I’m devastated for Matt Glaetzer. I don’t see how the Australians will accept this and don’t feel robbed. This is an absolute travesty in my mind. I don’t even think Jack Carlin will be pleased at that turnaround. You want to win fair and square, and that is the most ridiculous relegation I have ever seen.
“I’m very devastated for Matt Glaetzer. And I think it is a poor interpretation.”
Footage showed a distraught Glaetzer when the verdict was announced, while teammate Matthew Richardson celebrated his gold medal.
“You can see it in his face. This decision has just broken him, it is not fair in my estimation,” Bates said.
“He doesn’t have a right of appeal. It is probably why the decision has been taken so long because they were deliberating it, and certainly Australians were arguing as hard as they could and fighting the case for Matt Glaetzer.
“This is just absolute heartbreak for him. The look on his face from him, guys, there have been a lot of tears tonight at the velodrome for happy reasons and now sad ones.
“I won’t give my opinion. But I think what everyone in Australia is thinking right now and I think the same as that man on our screens. We are absolutely devastated having the bronze medal taken from him after the superhuman efforts of the last couple of days. Totally devastated.”
6:03PM FIVE ATHS STARS TO WATCH
Athletics starts at the Commonwealth Games today. Here is who to keep an eye out for—including an Aussie star.
WOMEN Kelsey-Lee Barber (AUS) – Javelin
The 30-year-old seemed set fair to finally land a Commonwealth Games gold — having taken bronze and silver in the last two editions — after she retained her world title.
The Olympic bronze medalist, though, contracted Covid-19 shortly after her world triumph but the team insisted she would make it to Birmingham.
Barber can take heart that her compatriot Jessica Stenson finally won the marathon title on Saturday despite having Covid less than a month before the Games
Keely Hodgkinson (ENG) – 800m
The 20-year-old should be the hottest of favorites to be crowned Commonwealth Games champion. She took silver in last year’s Olympics behind Athing Mu and then lost out by the barst of margins (0.08sec) to the American in the world final.
That defeat left her bristling.
“I’m definitely a little bit annoyed,” she said. “I have a lot of respect for her but I’m obviously gutted. I came here to win the gold and it didn’t happen.” After her silver de ella in Tokyo, Hodgkinson, who has put studying for a criminology degree on hold, was rewarded by a sponsor with a spin in an Aston Martin.
She felt that her Eugene performance did not merit a repeat but gold in Birmingham should be good enough for a second outing.
MEN Ferdinand Omanyala (KEN) – 100m
The African 100 meter champion could gain compensation at the Games after his world title challenge was shattered by only obtaining a visa to enter the United States at the last minute.
The 26-year-old bowed out in the semi-finals but said he had no regrets and was looking forward to competing in Birmingham.
“The challenge of life is intended to make you better, not bitter,” he tweeted. “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems. No matter how much falls on us, we keep moving.”
Jake Wightman (SCO) — 1500m One of the surprises of the world championships when he took gold in a race being commented on in the stadium by his father and coach Geoff.
The 28-year-old became Britain’s first 1500m world champion since Steve Cram in 1983 and is keen to use it as a springboard for Commonwealth gold and then the European 800m crown in Munich later this month.
“It’s crazy. The time frame between coming back from the worlds and then going into the Commonwealths,” he said.
“It’ll be tough to kind of get myself back up, which is why I need to let myself chill out for a few days to get ready for the tough rounds again and get back into that championship environment.”
Emmanuel Korir (KEN) – 400m
The 27-year-old is the undoubted king of the 800m having added world gold to his Olympic crown.
Eyebrows may be raised as to why he would not attempt to make it a triple of 800m titles in Birmingham.
However, he is extremely confident in his abilities at 400m. He said after the world final that he knew he would win as with a slow first lap he was the best 400m runner in the field.
A further aid to his hopes is he is pretty fresh having only started his season at the end of June.
MUM’S BOOZY 6AM CELEBRATION
On the Gold Coast, in the early hours of Monday morning, a bottle of champagne was popped and passed around – punctuated by some swear words – to signify the arrival of a new sporting superpower.
As sisters Maddison and Teagan Levi stepped forward to accept their Commonwealth Gold, mum Richelle was uncorking the bubbly and getting ready for a big day of celebrating.
Her daughters had helped Australia to an upset semi-final win over New Zealand, and then a trouncing of Fiji in the final to secure gold.
It was a revival of the team’s 2016 Olympic triumph and ushered in a new era of Sevens superstars.
But before all of that? There was a euphoric celebration in the southern hemisphere that may not only have woken up a decent chunk of Queensland’s east coast, but also would’ve made mother Mary blush.
“Mum had a bottle of champagne ready at 6 in the morning — she was ready to celebrate and I think she’ll be on it all day celebrating,” a jubilant Maddison Levi said after Australia’s historic maiden Sevens gold medal win over Fiji.
“I don’t know if I can say it on camera (what mum said) but they were definitely happy.
There were tears of joy. It was a pretty emotional rollercoaster…. they’ve been with us through the highs and lows and to have two kids standing on that podium is pretty awesome.
“They definitely had tears. But lots of swearing, I can confirm.”
Maddison might have undersold the party going back home.
Richelle told Channel 7 later in the morning she was already two bottles of champagne down before 9am.
“Two bottles of champagne already done,” she said.
She was joined by at least one supporter wearing pajamas for a live cross on Channel 7 as the party raged into the morning.
Maddison and sister Teagan are the new face of women’s rugby in Australia, following the path trodden by teammates Charlotte Caslick and Sharni Williams, and earlier Ellia Green and Emilee Cherry.
Powerful, pacey, skilful. There’s a reason they’re among the most in-demand female athletes in the country – with AFLW and NRLW clubs lining up to steal them from rugby union.
“We got to stand next to each other, so it was pretty sentimental. We’ve achieved a Commonwealth Games medal, not many people can do that in their lives let alone have their sister side-by-side,” Maddison said.
But judging by smiles that lit up Coventry Arena stadium on Sunday night, the Levi clan is comfortable in rugby union right now.
“When I first started I aspired to be like Charlotte Caslick and the likes of Ellia Green and now that I’m in this role I’d love to inspire the younger generation because I think it’s such a great sport,” Maddison explained.
“The opportunities you get you can’t get with most sports. And to have younger girls look up to me and hopefully one day be standing side-by-side with girls you call your sister and be celebrating this moment is pretty monumental.”