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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 10:58 GMT
Pittman wins gold ahead of Brits
Jana Pittman celebrates her victory in the 400m hurdles
Pittman was the reigning champion
Australian favourite Jana Pittman gave the home crowd the victory they wanted to claim gold in the 400m hurdles.

Pittman set a new Games record of 53.83 seconds to cruise home ahead of England's Natasha Danvers-Smith and Scotland's Lee McConnell.

Danvers-Smith, who fell when in a medal position four years ago in Manchester, held on for silver in 55.17secs.

McConnell, who has switched from the 400m flat, won bronze in 55.25, pipping England's Nicola Sanders in fourth.

Pittman was understandably delighted with her performance.

"I just wanted this so bad," she told BBC Sport. "I have had a rough few weeks but I love running and I love my country and I couldn't wait to get back out there."

Pittman paid tribute to her fiance, England's 400m hurdler Chris Rawlinson, who she will marry on 31 March.

"Chris is my coach, my manager and my fiance, and the best thing that has ever happened to me," she added.

"He has kept me level-headed and the reception the (79,000) crowd gave me was overwhelming."

I wasn't sure what I could produce coming out here
Bronze medallist Lee McConnell
Danvers-Smith said she had put the disappointment of Manchester behind her with silver in her first full season back in action after the birth of her son Jaden.

"I am older and different now," she said. "This means a lot. I wanted to win and I have got a silver but I am still pleased.

"It took a lot just to get to this point so I am very happy."

McConnell, who won silver in the 400m flat four years ago, was also "delighted" with her bronze medal.

"I wasn't sure what I could produce coming out here because I am new to the event," she said. "But I am really grateful to all the people who have stuck by me."

Sanders, who rose to prominence at the 2005 World Championships, where she was unfortunately disqualified in the semi-finals, recorded a new personal best of 55.32 in fourth.

Jamaica's Sherone Simpson sprung a surprise in the women's 200m final when she beat comptriot Veronica Campbell for the first time at the distance to take gold.

Campbell led coming into the home straight but Simpson finished stronger to win in 22.59secs, Campbell clocking 22.72 and South African Geraldine Pillay taking bronze in 22.92.





Links to more Commonwealth Games stories


 



SEE ALSO
Sanders finds Commonwealth form
15 Feb 06 |  Athletics
Pittman secures hurdles gold
28 Jul 02 |  Athletics


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