Athletics: Jackson walks to gold

Athletics: Jackson walks to gold
By Reuters

09/10/2010 at 09:00Updated 09/10/2010 at 16:12

Jo Jackson produced a dominant performance as she lead from gun to tape to win 20km walk gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Despite the early morning start, temperatures were still soaring in the Indian capital as Jackson clocked a Games record one hour, 34 minutes, 22 seconds - erasing Jane Saville's mark from Manchester eight years ago.

She dictated the pace to a small nine-strong field as pre-race favourite, Australia's Cheryl Webb, struggled.

Her winning margin was well over two minutes as Australian Claire Tallent and Kenya's Grace Njue completed the podium.

"I'd dreamt of it and I was really worried it wasn't going to come true," said Jackson. "I put everything into it and it paid off. My original plan was to stick with the leaders and move in the second half. It was just too slow and technically, I am better if I am moving fast.

"I didn't mean to get a gap, but it just happened. so I just kept on pushing. I died a bit towards the end, but I thought I'll just relax now and just go and win it.

"It gives me a taste to win more medals now."

However, there was no fairytale comeback for 43-year old mum of four Lisa Kehler.

Kehler quit the sport after winning her third Commonwealth medal eight years ago but was forced to settle for fourth in Delhi, although she still clocked a one hour, 40 minutes and 33 second season's best.

“Well I can’t argue with that can I fourth place with a season’s best at my age," she said.

"I did struggle a bit there towards the end because I went so hard in the middle to make up time, but it’s not too bad."

Australia's Jared Tallent won the men's 20km walk with England's Luke Finch the top British finisher in 10th. 

Tallent's team-mate Luke Adams's dreams of finally winning gold were dashed when he tripped on a 'blob' on a Delhi street.

Adams, who also finished with silver in the event at the last two Games, was fighting for first place late in the race when he tripped and veered over to the side of the road.

"I hit a blob near the finish and almost went for six," he said. "That ruined my chances. I was pushing hard in second place but once that happened my chances were lost.

"This is my third silver in the Commonwealth Games. I didn't come to win silver. I mean getting a medal is good, but I wanted gold."

"I just had to take my chance," winner Tallent said. "I just went for the win."

A good day for the Tallent family was completed when Jared's wife Claire won silver in the women's 20km race behind Jackson.

"When he went past he gave me a 'c'mon!' and that was really good," Claire said of her husband's support.

"We try to help each other," Jared said. "She helps me, I help her. It's great."